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Herbalife Gran Canaria - Real Madrid

Laso: “If we weren't a team we wouldn't have won this Copa del Rey”

NEWS | 21/02/2016 | Nacho Díaz (La Coruña) | PHOTOGRAPHER: Víctor Carretero

“On Thursday I said to them that we would win and we did it”, said the Whites' coach
Pablo Laso showed his happiness after winning the Copa del Rey, beating Herbalife Gran Canaria by 81-85: “I'm very happy and proud of my players. Winning this cup, with the situation we've had with fitness this season, will probably help us grow as a team. If we weren't a team we wouldn't have won this Copa del Rey”.

“I speak a lot about the road and how difficult it is and because of that I'm very proud of this cup, where we've had to give our best in all three games. I congratulate Gran Canaria for their cup, they've arrived in really good form, winning two games from behind and until the end they were with us today". 

Great start
“Our start was very good. During the second quarter it was more difficult for us they were successful and we became a bit anxious despite being ahead. I said it to the players at the break. Our best basketball was in the second half, we weren’t fresh and didn't have legs but we were capable of moving the ball well, shooting open, we were solid in defense and were good on the rebound. That’s where we got the advantage which in the end was decisive". 

The basketball section
“I'm very lucky to be in a great club and we have been able to make a team, even bringing in players from our youth system. Last year they won everything and this year the mini-cup. Our section is alive. As coach of the first team I feel proud of the success that we are having".

 I've always wanted to give identity to this team and an idea of the game.

“All of the titles have something special about them. We have played five Copa del Rey's and we have won four of them, and the one that we lost I still remember, this tournament is very difficult. In the locker room everyone is exhausted, we just made it over the line. But on Thursday I said to them that we would win and we did it. My 15 players one for one, deserve to be champions of the cup, from the oldest (Nocioni) down to the youngest (Doncic)”.

Ayón
“I saw him play in Fuenlabrada years ago and in two minutes I knew he was going to be special. His development has been incredible, stopped by injuries and the NBA, He returned to Spain and it was difficult for him to find his form, but from there he began to grow and he's always consistent. His integration has been excellent, thanks in part to his teammates. I'm really happy that he got the MVP".

Idea of the game
“I think that we as a team and basketball in general changes quickly and you have to adapt. In five years as coach a lot of big players have been through, but I have to take decision for the team. The club will always be above me and the players. I've always wanted to give identity to this team and an idea of the game. For me the biggest victory is seeing the Palacio full and the supporters enjoying the team". 

Not favorites
“My players read that there are no favorites. They read it and they know it, and that’s that. We try to not be affected by what happens outside. We close the locker room door and we are ourselves in the good times and the bad. It has been a magnificent cup, the fans, the atmosphere, the arena, the level of the games. To be champions reinforces what I told them on Thursday, that we were going to win". 

Pressure
“There is always pressure in Real Madrid, it's always the same, but I always say the same, we are the ones who put most pressure on ourselves. Pressure always exists and you are the one who manages it".

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