Pablo Laso: “We head to Belgrade aiming to be champions”

2022-04-27T14:01:43+00:00 2022-04-27T14:01:43+00:00.

Antigoni Zachari

27/Apr/22 14:01

Pablo Laso is headed to his seventh Final Four with Real Madrid and the aspiration for a championship is strong

By Eurohoops team /

Real Madrid swept the series against Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv Tuesday to be the first team to advance to the EuroLeague Final Four in Belgrade this May.

Real playcaller Pablo Laso, who is set to make his seventh appearance in the Final Four stage (Real counts 8 in the course of 11 years), talked to the press following the win in Tel Aviv and highlighted his team’s aspiration to win a title.

“Right from day one, we were sure that the start of the series would be difficult for us as they came into it on the back of six wins. We produced a really good performance in the first game and our approach to the second match was really good”, said Laso in his opening remarks.

“We came here with a 2-0 lead and said to ourselves that we didn’t want to allow them a route back into the series. It was really difficult but we controlled the tempo of the game, the rebounds, and put a great amount of effort into defense. I come away from here feeling really happy. I think that it was an extremely tough series and we were aware of just how difficult it’d be”.

Laso also commented on the impact of Sergio Llull in Game 3. The Spanish veteran scored 18 points to lead Real to the sweep. “He brings so much to the team”, told Laso. “People often appreciate him just for the points he scores but, for example, in the Breogán match, he dished seven assists and claimed four rebounds and that’s all part of his contribution and is important. Everyone wants to see Llull netting “mandarins” and scoring points, but he also contributes in many areas that go unnoticed. He’s capable of adapting to whatever the team needs, that’s his major strength and it’s a pleasure to be his coach”.

Real has returned to the Final Four for the first time since 2019, looking to finish their run with a title. “We have to savor this achievement. The best teams in Europe play in the Final Four. In the last 10 years, we’ve appeared in seven. We’ve been champions, we’ve lost finals, we’ve finished third, and fourth. All too often the work we have put in to make it this far isn’t fully appreciated. We head to Belgrade aiming to be champions. Seven Final Fours in 10 years speaks volumes about the team over the years”.