Pablo Laso: "I am very happy with how we responded after the tough defeat on Tuesday"

After the hard-fought victory against Zenit, the white coach praised the attitude of his players, highlighted the defense and praised the rival coach, Xavi Pascual.


At the Sibur Arena, Real Madrid achieved a valuable victory against Zenit Saint Petersburg (71-75). The two teams arrived with 16 wins on their locker and with the wolf behind their ears seven days before the playoffs begin. Faced with such a situation, the white coach, Pablo Laso, after the game, was very satisfied with the work of his team: "I am very happy for my players, for how we responded after a tough defeat on Tuesday against Khimki," he declared to Euroleague microphones.

Against Zenit, the Whites closed a mini tour of Russia that, as Laso recalls, started in the worst way: with a defeat against Khimki, a team that had not won for 17 consecutive games and that, throughout the competition , had only added two victories. Today, the story was very different. The Russian team, now eighth, arrived as one of the revelations of the competition and with the same objectives as the Madrid team: to qualify for the Top-8.

And the game was not easy, a heart attack ending included: "We had our good moments and our bad moments. I think the beginning of the third quarter was quite bad. We were with a bonus (of fouls) in 1:20, and that hurt us enormously: we received 29 points in that quarter. They returned to the game as we talked at halftime, but we were able to maintain our composure, play solid defense, tack and move the ball. And we made key shots that were important at the end of the game, "explained Pablo Laso. The white coach also had pleasant words for the rival coach, Xavi Pascual, a former Barça player: "Zenit are playing very well, I think Xavi is doing a great job and we knew how difficult it would be to win here."

Jeffrey Taylor, for his part, who finished the game with a PIR of 10 and with a vital plug in the final moments, praised the importance of the victory: "If you look at the classification, there are like eight teams with the same record, so this match was very important to us, especially after Tuesday's loss. It's great to be able to come here and win. They have a really good team this year. It was a tough match. I think we needed something like this to continue after the match of Tuesday, "said the white forward.

In the same vein, Wlater Tavares showed himself that, after scoring 16 points and being the most valued player of the game (19), he also criticized himself: "At halftime I said: 'They are a great team and they can come back whenever they want.' The key was focus and our defense, that helped us a lot to keep up and come back. It was difficult (for me) because everyone was trying to open up and shoot 3s. So I had more work to do. But it is what it is, I have to fight to get over it, "he confessed. Now, Real Madrid is fifth in the table and awaits Barça and CSKA at the Palacio, March 11 and 18 respectively.

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