Real Madrid - Herbalife Gran Canaria

Laso: “The team was motivated and focused from the off”

NEWS | 18/06/2020 | PHOTOGRAPHER: Víctor Carretero (Valencia)

“Our start to the game was fantastic”, said the Whites' coach at the end of the clash.
Pablo Laso assessed Real Madrid's win over Herbalife Gran Canaria, in the first game of the Final Phase of this league campaign: “I'm pleased with the win because we knew this was a tough game. The last time either team had played was three months back, having no fans in the arena and such a long time out, but I congratulate my team because they were motivated and focused throughout the game”.

“Our start to the game was fantastic. We played with great pace, impressive accuracy, but we were also imposing our game in defense, and that really helped us build up that lead. It was tough to maintain those levels of precision and effort. They found Costello, who had a spell where everything was going in for him, and that helped them get back into it. In the second half, both teams found things more difficult, it was more stop-start, but we were able to manage our lead well and read situations nicely”.

Importance of the win
“As in any competition, the first game is always very hard because you don't know what to expect. The most similar thing to this in the ACB is the Copa del Rey and it's a final. Here, we're in a group, but if you start trailing on day one, you have to sweat to make up the ground”.

We were able to manage our lead well in the second half.

“Gran Canaria are a tough side, they're very physical and have decent players in every position. It was very important for us to read the game well from the off, so I have to give the players credit for that”.

Absence of the fans
“The atmosphere without fans is similar to training but it's true that the players have adapted well to playing behind closed doors. I prefer playing with the support”.

Evolution of the game
“We didn't let off in the second and third quarter. We rotated players a lot. Our levels dropped a bit in defense because their accuracy in the shooting caught us off guard a bit and we had several situations where if we'd scored, we would have maintained a better advantage, but that's basketball. We were able to manage our lead well in the second half".