Chema Buceta will block out the emotions during his homecoming weekend.

Not straightforward, you’d think, when Great Britain’s head coach faces his native Spain in their last pre-EuroBasket tune-up in Madrid on Sunday night, 24 hours after facing Sweden at the Polideportivo Fernando Martín (7.30pm UK).

No problema, he laughs.

“It’s just another team. My team is GB now. Not Spain. And the game is different and that is what is the main thing.”

Still, no-one has led Spain more frequently than the Professor of Psychology who first took temporary charge of La Roja during a three-game stint in 1979 and then was at the helm on 177 occasions from 1985 to 1992, including at a home Olympics in Barcelona that proved pivotal in converting Espana into a hoops powerhouse.

“I didn’t know I had the record until someone reminded me the other day,” he adds modestly. “That’s a great feeling. But it’s a long time ago and now I’ll go there to win.

“And when the national anthem is on, I don’t pay much attention. I’m just thinking about what I have to do. Maybe if we beat them, they’ll kill me!”

The only risk of murder might be on the court on Sunday when the number two-ranked team in the world, the reigning European champions, and their current coach Lucas Mondelo, plot against their former torchbearer.

An indication of the ferocious challenge awaiting then – and when the sides reunite in competitive battle in Riga next Friday – was provided when the Spaniards swept Sweden aside in a 62-29 rout on Friday. That same Sweden which inflicted an 87-45 reverse on an admittedly short-handed GB a fortnight ago.

The odds are long on Buceta’s squad heading to Latvia on the back of one of those mythological ‘confidence-boosting wins.’

“But it’s good we play them in Madrid,” he insists. “We were drawn together (at the Euros) but we still went ahead and they like that because Lucas likes to play teams to get ideas.

“And for us, it’s good experience going into the championship. We have to play that game by game. It won’t matter because the game in Madrid will be very different to the one in the competition. I wanted strong teams, like Spain or France or Serbia, to get us ready.”

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And the preparations, he insists, have left his 12-strong sorority fully-honed for the tests ahead, including that first-round Euro group that also includes hosts Latvia and Ukraine.

No matter the behind-the-scenes politicking, the turf battles and the organisational implosion that has vaporised the British Basketball Federation and left, instead, a smouldering shell.

That UK Sport effectively dropped a ring-fenced wad of cash to afford GB its outside bet to progress all the way to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic buffeted the women from the ill winds encircling the sport, ones which have blown the immediate future of the senior men’s side into a cove of uncertainty ahead of August’s EuroBasket pre-qualifiers.

“Fortunately, we qualified for EuroBasket,” Buceta acknowledges. “That’s a big difference, if we didn’t qualify, I’m sure it could be different. The new federation is trying to find the resources for national teams.

“But as far as the women’s team is concerned, we made this plan. And I think it’s good. I don’t like long preparations. We are used to that with the windows which is preparing in a few days … Sure, our resources are limited but even if we had more, I think the plans would be more or less the same.”

Once the mind doctor of Real Madrid, he understands the power of positive thought. Optimism, thus, abounds.

“We have the number of players we needed. The length of the camp is good… it might affect other teams. The men, I don’t know. But for us, it’s ok.”

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