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    Laso. “If we want to beat Olympiacos we will have to play very well”

    NEWS | 11/10/2016 | PHOTOGRAPHER: Víctor Carretero

    “We know that the Euroleague will be very hard but we have a large squad”, said Felipe Reyes.
    Laso and players Reyes, Ayon and Nocioni analyzed the debut in the Euroleague against Olympiacos (Wednesday 9pm CEST). The Whites coach warns of the difficulty of the opponent: "Since the final in London what I’ve liked about them is that they have maintained an identity in their play. They are very clear in what they want, it is a very competitive team and I know that to beat them we will have to play very well. I think if you're not at a high level you cannot beat them because they are always very competitive. They never give up and they are a difficult team to beat due to their excellence. To beat Olympiacos is like climbing 8,000 steps because it seems you have to beat them three times in a game."

    "It's a team that keeps the hallmarks of previous seasons. It has four or five quality players with Spanoulis the standout player, but they also have Green, Mantzaris, Lojeski and Hackett. They are very versatile players and then they have a lot of players in forward positions and strong centers such as Papanikolau, Printezis or Milutinov ".

    New Euroleague
    "I like this format. Firstly because the fans can get to see all the teams and then it’s only fair for teams because you are going to face everyone. If you want to enter the Top 8 you'll have to be amongst the best eight in a regular league. The competition will be as tough and demanding as ever and you will have options in every game but not too clearly".

    First objective
    "When you start this competition and look at the opponents, the first thing is to qualify for the playoff. From there, be the first four and take advantage of home court in the next round. We have been thorough this in previous years but we must go step by step and all that worries me now is Olympiacos".

    Laso: "We aspire to be the best but first we have to beat Olympiacos".

    "We knew we needed to have a balanced squad this season with players who could play in different positions and try to add more players because last year we had injuries and had to go in to the market and ended up having a squad of 15 players, which I think was key to being competitive in all competitions."

    Players out
    "I have three or four players injured and I do not know who will play on Wednesday but I am lucky that in the Euroleague I can announce the 12 players two hours before the start. Thompkins doesn’t worry me because he is so integrated into the team. He has played preseason games, and played against Oklahoma and I think he had a very good game and if he plays against Olympiacos I think that he will play well because I never think any of my players will play badly. He is a player we know well."

    Sixth season
    "Every year is a challenge. I wouldn't understand if Llull, Carroll, Reyes, Rudy didn’t want to win the Euroleague. I wouldn't understand if Pablo Laso didn’t want to win the Euroleague. I see other teams, how attractive the competition is and the competitiveness and see it as a challenge for the club and for the team."

    Reyes: "We want a good start to the competition"
    "We’re looking forward to starting the competition. We know that this year will be very hard because there are a lot of games, a lot of travelling and the level of the team will always be high. But we have a big squad and with rotations we will avoid slumps and be on top to go far."

    "It's a very tough team that plays very physically. We want to start the competition well. We play at home and home games will be important when it comes to qualifying. In addition, we have our fans to help us a lot and when things get complicated they are always there."

    Nocioni: "We have a squad ready to play at the highest level"
    "It's a special competition and we all want to play in it. We are anxious to start against a great team like Olympiacos. It is a new format and everyone has to adapt it. What we have to do is compete. We are in good shape and hopefully it will be a good year for us."

    Ayon: "Olympiacos requires you to give a little more"
    "We are very excited to start a new season in the Euroleague. All the matches will be very interesting for the fans. Olympiacos is a team that always requires you to give a little more and you cannot lose concentration."


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