Laso: “The fans know this is one of the games of the year

“They are hungry and ambitious and we are prepared”, said Causeur before the Panathinaikos game.
Pablo Laso and Causeur cspoke to the press about the playoff in the Euroleague between Real Madrid and Panathinaikos at the WiZink Center (Wednesday, 9:15pm CET). The coach said: "We’re going into one of the toughest moments of the campaign and we have a playoff game against one of the best teams in Europe. My team are doing well, they’re prepared and we have only have one player out of sixteen who is not going to feature."
 
"The team has been taking training seriously these last two weeks, getting ready for a consistent rival who we know. We give Panathinaikos the respect they deserve, they had a great Regular Season, and they have many strong points. Calathes sets the pace and they have some top scorers. It is a stellar team in open play and physically they will force us to maintain our focus throughout the game."
 
The fans
"The home court advantage will be key, today more than ever I want our fans behind us, always are. It is vital that the team feel supported from the word go, and it is great to have that advantage we worked for all year. There will be a brilliant atmosphere around the Palacio, we know we are playing to get to the Final Four and we need to give our all to get ahead in the playoff. Those who like basketball and Real Madrid will not miss this game for anything. I am sure that people know that it will be one of the games of the season."
 
Last year
"Things change a lot, players and coaches come and go for both teams. The colours remain the same. There are key players who are back in the playoffs and it is hard to think that there will be any real similarity to last year. Each game and playoff is different but what I would like the final result to go our way. I never thought that Panathinaikos would be the toughest side to face."

Laso: "We're playing to get into the Final Four and we need to give our all to get ahead in the playoff".

"If Calathes sinks 50 points and 25 assists and we still win, then I’ll take it right now. But if he hits those numbers it will be hard to win. Talking about one player in a team is absurd. He is, if not the best, one of the best players in Europe but this is a Real Madrid-Panathinaikos and it is ridiculous to think of players ahead of the collectives themselves. Pitino has changed the style of play, just as Pascual did."
 
Rotations
"In my head, I know what I'm going to do in every game and then things don’t always pan out that way. There are going to be plays, fouls and we have to be aware of that. The coach may have his own ideas about rotation but in the end, you have to roll with the punches. Beforehand you can always talk and prepare but I cannot fixate on the plan. Both Campazzo and Calathes will get a lot of minutes because they can hack it and they are important for their teams."
 
Causeur: "We know that the fans will be behind us"
"This is a crucial moment in our season, the most important. Everything that has gone before was just a warm-up. This part is what makes your season a success or not. The team have done well and although Llull is not with us, we have many useful players on the team and we have shown that every single year."
 
"We do not need to ask anything of the fans because we know they will back us and will support us from the word go until the final whistle. We want a full Palacio and we know what will happen if it is full."
 
Previous games
"We must not forget the previous games against Panathinaikos and we need to know what we have and what they have. We have to focus on our play, that is important because we have what it takes to beat any team. They are hungry and ambitious and we are prepared."