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Rueda de prensa de Abalde

Abalde: “The Copa del Rey is a special occasion and we're going to give our all”

NEWS | 10/02/2021

"We have to try to play at our best and just focus on the game against Valencia Basket", explained Pablo Laso.
Pablo Laso and Alberto Abalde discussed the Copa del Rey quarterfinal against Valencia Basket (Thursday, 9:30pm CET). The coach said in the press conference: "It's a very demanding tournament. We're talking about the eight best teams from first round and any game between them is guaranteed to be a great game. Valencia Basket is a Euroleague team, they've got very good players and are on a really good winning streak in the league. We know how difficult it's going to be and we've got a lot of respect for the cup and for them as our first opponent".

"We're lossing Tisma, who's going to Sevilla, and Taylor, who's injured. Regarding the rest, I don't know who's going to play tomorrow because we've got a lot of players wrapped in cotton wool. But I'm optimistic that the other 14, including Vukcevic, will be available. As for Laprovittola, he's tested negative and can play. He's trained, but obviously, after his illness and 15 days out of action, he's not in the shape we'd like him to be, but I think he'll be fine. I'm counting on him all being well. The team is well prepared for the Copa del Rey".

Copa del Rey without fans
"For me the Copa del Rey is a party. I've experienced it as a player, as a fan, as a coach and it's a basketball party because of everything that happens on and off the court and because of the fans. This year is certainly going to be different. Unfortunately, the situation is such that the basketball party itself simply doesn't exist, but it's a tournament and we need to make the most of it. We have to try to play at our highest level. I don't look at the cup as three games. Right now I'm only focussed on the game against Valencia Basket".

Team mentality
"Every game and tournament is different and we approach them in a different way. I always have a good feeling because I think Real Madrid are the favourites. They are to me. The team is prepared, competitive and I must compliment them because their ability to be competitive every day is something I'm proud of".

Laso: "The team is prepared, competitive and I must compliment them for that".

"When the league starts, the first objective is to play in the cup. It's important to be in and we're top of the table and leaders in the league. This says a lot about the team and that they're working really very well. If you couple that with the Super Cup title and the fact that we're fighting for the top places in the Euroleague, we're very happy. But I'm demanding with the team and with myself and we have to continue to be competitive every day and want to improve. It's a strange season for us and for everyone. I must applaud the team for their behaviour, because it's been magnificent".

Abalde: "It's going to be a final against a great team".
"It's a special moment of every season. It's my first Copa del Rey with Real Madrid and I'm really looking forward to it. We're only focussed on Valencia Basket, it's going to be a final against a great team. It'll be a very tough game because they're on form and we're going to have to put in a great performance if we want to get the win".

The team''s physical state
"When the league starts, the first objective is to play in the cup. It's important to be in and we're top of the table and leaders in the league. This says a lot about the team and that they're working really very well. If you couple that with the Super Cup title and the fact that we're fighting for the top places in the Euroleague, we're very happy. But I'm demanding with the team and with myself and we have to continue to be competitive every day and want to improve. It's a strange season for us and for everyone. I must applaud the team for their behaviour, because it's been magnificent".

Abalde: "It's going to be a final against a great team".
"It's a special moment of every season. It's my first Copa del Rey with Real Madrid and I'm really looking forward to it. We're only focussed on Valencia Basket, it's going to be a final against a great team. It'll be a very tough game because they're on form and we're going to have to put in a great performance if we want to get the win".

The team's physical state
"Obviously there're some niggles at this stage but every team is in the same situation. We've got players out injured, COVID... it's a special situation. But, for this tournament we're going the extra mile and we'll be well prepared to give our all tomorrow".

Winning team
"I'm aware that I'm playing with a team of winners and a club that aims to win every title. I'm in a group of players who have won lots of titles, who have a lot of experience and I'm just keeping my eyes wide open and ready to contribute in any way I can to help win titles".

Quick adaptation
"I've adapted quickly and now I'm at a different stage of my career. I'm only thinking about helping out. I've had to help in the point guard position and I'm happy because it helps me to grow as a player to get out of my comfort zone".

Quarterfinal match
"It'll be tough. They're a very complete team and play fast-paced. We must focus on doing our things well and control the rhythm of the game. When we're solid on defence, we control the rebound and can run, that's part of the identity of the team".

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