Pablo Laso

Laso: "Maccabi and Real Madrid are two top teams"

NEWS | 20/01/2021 | Eduardo Olivera

"It's going to be a tough game, we really respect the quality of their players", added the coach.
Pablo Laso spoke ahead of the Maccabi-Real Madrid game, in round 21 of the Euroleague (Thursday, 8.05pm CET). The coach explained: "Llull and Rudy are out. They're not travelling. I'm optimistic that they'll return to the team soon, but I can't put a time on it. Sergi is already running. Tyus trained well today. He rested on Tuesday and has some pain but he'll be able. It was nothing serious, but he couldn't play the second half against Estrella Roja, and he couldn't continue linking up with the team".

"It's been so unpredictable since 12 March 2020, after playing at the Palacio against Estrella Roja. From then on it's been like that, not just me, I think, but everyone. It's not normal to go to the Palacio, prepare for a game and be told at two o'clock in the afternoon that you're not going to play. Or that they speak about the cup match and before that there's four games to play. It's a special situation".

"Maccabi-Real Madrid is always an big match, when we were kids, we've seen European Cup finals, and also now we're older. They are two teams of the highest level. They have three players on the outside who are very capable of scoring from anywhere, like Wilbekin and especially with Dorsey and Bryant from the three-pointers. If you add to that the positions of 4 and 5, with Caloiaro, Othello, Zizic, Bender... it makes a very complete team".

"The problems that they have had have made this season a strange one for them. But they are very competitive, with lots of different tools. It's going to be a difficult game and we respect the quality of their players".

Laso: "I hope that Llull and Rudy are back with the team as soon as possible in order to have more offensive and defensive options".

"I believe that teams have to be complete. When you have any injury you have to fill the gaps. At Real Madrid, in the last month and a half we've lost three key players. Two won't be back, but Llull will. I don't miss the players who aren't coming back as much as those who are, and for me Sergi is a player with an important impact because of his ability to change the pace. There is no doubt that I miss every player. I hope that both he and Rudy are back with the team as soon as possible. They will be part of the growth of the group to be able to have more offensive and defensive options".
Cup draw
"It's so important that we all know that this is a different situation. This is a big moment in basketball. A cup without fans present is strange to say the least. We always have a great atmosphere. Every year when it's the cup, I feel like it's a basketball weekend for basketball people. The fact that it's without fans, forgive me, is a real pain".
"We have to get on with it and play without fans, but the cup is a time when the fans come together. A very important ingredient is going to be missing: the fans. It is what it is and can't be changed. I'm going to try to make sure that my team goes into it in the best possible condition to be competitive".