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Rueda de prensa de Chus Mateo

Chus Mateo: “It's going to be an intense match in Belgrade"

NEWS STORY. 09/01/2023

"The team is playing well and working hard", said Llull prior to the Estrella Roja game.

Chus Mateo and Sergio Llull appeared before the media ahead of the Euroleague round 18 match between Estrella Roja and Real Madrid (Tuesday, 7pm CET).  The coach said: "We have to be aware that it will be an high intensity game, we can't turnover the ball and we have to shoot well. We have to be aggressive on offense and then do our basics well such as defend, rebound and run. We played two good games at both ends of the court but the main thing is to continue moving forward. Next up is the Euroleague again, which is tighter than ever. We're focusing on the next game because anything else is a distraction".

"Estrella Roja is a team that has undergone a lot of changes. They've won eight of their last 10 matches. They've changed the way they play and are a difficult team to beat at home, despite the fact that the two they've lost have been there. They're a side that digs in, that fights until the end and plays with a lot of intensity. They play we as a team and display their strengths thanks to their defensive intensity. They also play on a famous court, where the fans really get behind them and the atmosphere is set for great basketball, but we're confident of putting in a good performance and getting the win".

"We are travelling with the 12 players who took part in the game against Gran Canaria as well as Hezonja. Rudy is progressing well and hopefully he'll be back soon. Deck has ruled out with anything serious but he still he's carrying an overload in his leg and we'd prefer not to force him and give him a chance to recover well". 

Llull: "It will be a very tough game"
"We've got a difficult week ahead of us. It's never easy to play away from home and we're focusing first of all on Tuesday's game. It's going to be a very tough game, in a full arena, with a crowd that gets behind them and we're up against a top team that's playing very well. We'll have to put in a very good performance and then after that we'll turn our attention to the next game".

Key factors
"I'm expecting a very difficult game, a very physical game. They raise their level in terms of physicality at home and it's going to be a very demanding game but we're playing well, working hard and we'll look to put in a good performance. It's going to be very important to control the tempo and not turnover the ball. If we can control our turnovers and rebounds, we've got quality players on offense and we're moving the ball around very well".

Euroleague standard
"It's more evenly matched every year. Five teams are level at the top it's easy to move up and down in the standings in a week like this with two games. We have to focus on getting the win in order to stay up there".