Ádám Hanga: You win some, you lose some
The Spanish star team, that will play the quarterfinals of the Men's Basketball Euroleague against Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv, is playing in lousy form this year. However, according to the excellent Hungarian national team player, Real Madrid is still the favorite of the match.
|Ádám Hanga (Photo: Imago Images)|
– Belated happy birthday!
– Thank you very much. I was in a grey mood as I entered the Jesus Year, and I realized that time is flying quickly – Ádám Hanga, the 33-year-old Hungarian national team star told Nemzeti Sport.
– Your mood is pretty gloomy...
– I'm distressed because of my injury. I'm not complaining, but I can't say I'm fine, and I can't actually say I'm not either. I've been struggling with it since February; a ligament is inflamed around my hamstring muscle and it's acting stubborn. When I play too much, it hurts a lot. Not only is it mentally very difficult to deal with, but it also prevents me from being in the game all the time. So, it's an annoying situation.
– Moreover, the team's shape is not what you would expect. It lost eight of the last 10 games.
– Unfortunately, 2022 has not been a good year for us so far... It is safe to say that we were the best team in Europe from September to January, we led the Euroleague, we played excellently. Then came the new year, and the defeats with it. It's a pretty bad mood here now, even though everyone's a professional, and know that we win some, we lose some. What we can hope is work, and of course, we can trust each other. The process is not irreversible since the first five months of the season were no coincidence when we played brilliant basketball. But now comes the time when the really important games are coming.
|Ádám Hanga has been selected for 26 out of Real Madrid's 28 regular-season games in the elite series. He averaged 19 minutes on the court, averaging 5.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. He made 2-pointers with a 51-percent, triples with a 30-percent, and penalties with a 72-percent success rate. He played his most successful match against Efes of Turkey, in which he scored 14 points, but his overall performance was the most outstanding against Crvena zvezda when he finished with a Performance Index Rating of 22 (11 points, six rebounds, three assists). |
– You're going to start the Euroleague playoffs from fourth place “only.” What do you think about this?
– In the past few weeks, we've had a lot of meetings with both the management and among ourselves, and we analyzed the problems. It's time to act and show on the court that although the Spanish Super Cup is ours, we want more than that. We are there with home-court advantage in the Euroleague quarterfinals, and the current negative mood should not have an impact on the continuation.
– What do you expect against Israel's Maccabi?
– The season is going interestingly because after banning the Russian clubs, the road opened up for several teams that would otherwise have less chance of reaching the final eight. Maccabi and Monaco both took advantage of the opportunity. The Israeli team is tough, it has many American basketball players, it mainly builds on the individuals' abilities, its attacking game is aggressive, and it tries to possess the ball more. Getting into the top four is the goal, and I think we have a chance of that, despite our current shape. We have to beat the Israelis three times which we believe we can do so and then go to Belgrade for the Final Four.
– Your coach, Pablo Laso, also receives a lot of criticism. How does he cope with the team being in such bad shape?
– He's won everything he could, and he obviously knows the problem, but he still has a positive outlook on it. He's been at the club for 11 years, he knows what to do and he's the most optimistic person of the staff, so it doesn't depend on him.