By Cesare Milanti / firstname.lastname@example.org
MURCIA, Spain – The 2023 FIBA World Cup is already in the history books, and the 2023-24 season is ahead of us. One of the first big appointments of the year comes from Murcia, where the Supercopa Endesa will put Real Madrid against FC Barcelona in the semifinal.
Talking ahead of the clash against the Catalan side, Walter Tavares spoke in the mixed zone of Murcia’s Palacio de los Deportes. “We really want to show that we are at the same level and that we can compete in all competitions, and the Supercopa is the first step we have to take. I really want to be here in Madrid again, to return to the normal routine, to play important games, win everything, and make our people happy, winning as many titles as possible”, the dominant center said.
Moving on to the opponents, who added both Willy Hernangomez and Jabari Parker among others, the 31-year-old player commented on Roger Grimau’s team. “Barcelona never loses strength, it’s a team that will always compete and fight. They win titles, they know how to win titles. It doesn’t matter how many or which players get out: they always have the same goal of competing and winning”, he said. “This will always be the game of the year for us”, Edy Tavares added.
The Caboverdian player also took some time to talk about what it meant to represent his country in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. “It’s very gratifying for us to be the smallest country to participate in the World Cup, playing our first game, and make history by winning at least one game in the World Cup, which is what we have achieved. We knew it was going to be difficult, with so many young people, with soldout crowds in every game. It was normal, but we understood how to do our best”, he also said.
“We have enjoyed the experience and if we have another opportunity it will be different, for sure”, Tavares pointed out before explaining how playing in Okinawa helped him get faster in shape. “The World Cup has helped me a lot to get in shape and be with the team, not start from the basics. That has helped me a lot to integrate very well with the team. I do not know if I arrived in my best form, but this is my first game with the team and we will see if everything goes well”, Real Madrid‘s center finally stated.
Walter Tavares has already won five consecutive Supercopa Endesa with Real Madrid, being named MVP of the competition in 2022 by averaging 16.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.5 blocks, and 24.5 efficiency per game last year. The Blancos will face Barcelona today at 18:30 CET in the first semifinal of the 2023 Supercopa Endesa, while UCAM Murcia and Unicaja Malaga will play later on at 21:30 CET.
PHOTO CREDIT: Turkish Airlines EuroLeague