Real Madrid-Gran Canaria

Tavares named the best defender of the 2021-22 league season

NEWS STORY. 04/05/2022

“It's an honour and I'd like to thank the team”, said the Real Madrid centre, winner of this award for the second consecutive year.

Walter Tavares has been named the league's best defender for the second season running following a vote by seven experts, including a number of legendary coaches and some of the best stoppers and rebounders of all time. The Real Madrid centre, who last year won the first edition of the trophy, said: "It's an honour and I'd like to thank the team. Unless I'm mistaken, this is the team's best year in terms of defence. This award is thanks to them. My job is to defend and make blocks, but they help me. If they're not there with me, it's very hard for me to defend".
"Each game is different and Laso asks for different things from me in defence. Sometimes I have to block higher up the court and sometimes deeper, but the things he always asks from me are intensity and to help my teammates. Chus Mateo says I'm a goalkeeper when it comes to defence because I see everything and always have to explain everything that's going on to my teammates".
Dunks or blocks?
"That's a difficult question, but as I'm on a team with a lot of offensive talent I try to always do my part on defence and support them so that they're more confidence in attack. Making a good block means a lot to me because I'm helping them have a good counter attack or a well organised attack".

The end of the season
"The good part is coming. It's a very long season, saying that, looking back it seems like it only started yesterday. We've got a month of competition to play and we are in the Euroleague Final Four and qualified for the league playoffs. We've worked very hard throughout the season and we have to enjoy this part now and do all we can to win. We're looking forward to the Final Four and will do everything we can. It's important to be in the best shape possible, to play hard, be focused and make sacrifices for the team, as these are do-or-die matches".
The team's form
"We always give our best when the big games come around. We proved that in the playoffs and we're going to do so in the Final Four by playing well. It's important to show our character, to show that we want to win and to make the Final".
His figures
With three games to play until the end of the Regular Season, Tavares heads the list of the competition's top blockers. The madridista has made 55 in 30 games, averaging 1.8 per game. Hlinason (Casedemont Zaragoza) and Alexander (Urbas Fuenlabrada) are eleven behind him. His teammate Poirier comes in fourth in the list with 38. Tavares edged out Moneke (Baxi Manresa) and Alberto Díaz (Unicaja) in the voting.