Sergio Scarilo coached an NBA match for the first time as a head coach. The 59-year-old Italian coach and Spanish coach have replaced Nick Norse as head of the Raptors’ coaching apparatus. The American coach and five of his aides in the Canadian and Cameroonian national team Pascal Siakam were forced to follow safety protocols in the NBA due to the pandemic and could not be present in the match against the Houston Rockets.
The Raptors won 122-111, with 30 points from Powell, 25 from Vanfleet, and a hat-trick from Lowry, with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. The Rockets fell despite John Wall’s 21 points, 12 assists, and 27 points for Oladipu.
Scarilo has reconciled the position of Spanish coach with assistant coach of the Raptors since 2018. Last week, he managed the 2022 European Soccer Championship qualifying matches against Israel and Poland. The last match was played in the Polish town of Giliwais, and Scarilo celebrated his 150th match with the national team, beating Poland 88-89. The coach had just finished his mandatory quarantine period when he returned from Poland to Tampa, Florida. There the Raptors are playing their matches this season due to the impossibility of complying with anti-conviction regulations every time they cross the border with Canada to compete with US teams, and vice versa.
The Raptors announced that a nurse and five other assistants could not be present at the Amalie Arena in Tampa a few hours before the match began. They did not say when the nurse and his aides would be able to return to their normal activities with the team and indicated that they would communicate by phone with the Raptors seat during the match against the Rockets. “Scarilo has been here for several years and he is bringing his experience not only because of what he has done in the NBA, but also as a head coach for several major European teams and as a coach for Spain. It was not difficult to hire him,” said Bobby Webster, General Manager of Raptors. For the Canadian national team, also in Tampa, on Sunday against Chicago and on Tuesday against Detroit.
The Raptors had already lost the assistant coach Chris Finch competition earlier this week as he was named head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Toronto is one of four teams that, along with the Clippers, Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets, have yet to postpone a game so far this season.