NEWS STORY. 20/10/2021
Pablo Laso spoke in the build up to Real Madrid's game against Fenerbahçe on Thursday in round five of the Euroleague (9pm CEST): "I would love to still be unbeaten in July next year, but i'm only focused on tomorrow's game, which will be very difficult. Fenerbahce haven't recorded a win away from home but against Panathinaikos they almost had it won. They're a very competitive team that will push us all the way. We put a very good performance against Efes, the Monaco game had more ups and downs and Panathinaikos was very serious. We will have to play at our highest level to be able to get something from it".
"Fenerbahçe are a different team to last season. The coach has changed. Last year they went from strength to strength and were one of the best at the end of the regular season. Starting with Vesely and De Colo, they have built a very distinctive team with proven signings like Henry, Polonara, Booker, etc. They're a very dangerous team with a good balance. they're a very dangerous and well-balanced team".
State of the team
"Hanga picked up a small knee problem against Monaco and he struggled a bit against Panathinaikos. We preferred to rest him in Lugo but he trained well with the team on Tuesday. He's not one hundred per cent fit, but he's getting there and improving every day and he should be able to play tomorrow. We have to take it easy with Llull. He had a heavy blow to his shoulder against Efes and has felt a lot of discomfort during the last few weeks. We thought it was just a knock but there is a risk that it could be something worse. Randolph and Thompkins are out and the rest are fine, recovering from the hard work they've put in over the last few weeks".
"We played a game against Asvel before the pandemic and that day we saw the potential that he has and how he could be a very interesting player for us. We've been following him and he's become a core player for us. We're very happy with how he's started the season and we believe he can continue to grow".
New players settling in
"It's been easier for Heurtel and Hanga because they know us. They've fit in very well with the team. Yabusele and Williams-Goss are new but the team knows what they can give us and they've bought into the idea. I'm very happy with how quicky they have adapt to the team and the team to them, but they still have a lot of room for improvement".
"They're a very athletic team with Vesely and Booker, they can open the court up with Polonara. Some of their dominance can be with the battle inside. They've got a good offensive rebound and we have to control it and be aggressive in this aspect".
Role of the point guards
"The point guards are very important and I'm the most demanding of the point guards. Heurtel has a raw talent to generate baskets; Williams-Goss is a very solid player, who can defend several positions and is capable of scoring. And having Alocén is insurance for me. He's still got a lot of room for improvement. The three of them complement each other very well and we've even seen them play together. I'm very happy with the three of them because they're the ones who lead the team in many aspects of the game, but they can and must improve".