Valencia Basket (5-2) will aim to achieve what nobody else has done since Partizan in Game 2 of last season's playoffs: beat Real Madrid (6-0).
Chus Mateo, Real Madrid: 'They are one of the most competitive teams in the league'
With Jared Harper missing through injury, there will be even more pressure on Valencia guard Chris Jones (11.3 ppg., 4.7 apg.) in his battle with Real's mercurial Facundo Campazzo, who leads the league with 8.7 assists per game and took last week's MVP award. Real leads the league with 88 points on average, with four players averaging double-digit scoring led by Guerschon Yabusele (12.8 ppg). Valencia's strong rebounding will be important against Real's collection of big men, who face a familiar foe in former Barcelona big man Brandon Davies (10.6 ppg.).
Alex Mumbru, Valencia head coach
"We play against a great team that comes to visit. This is the only home game we will have this week and we will have to play it with great connection to our fans, because we will need it. Real is undefeated in both competitions, they gave a deep roster and determinant players on all positions. People only see Tavares and Campazzo, but we could name a thousand players they have. We know how difficult this weill be, we will have to be everyhwere and play well to be competitive."
Chus Mateo, Real Madrid head coach
"A tough game awaits us in a complicated arena. Valencia is playing at an extraordinary level and they are one of the most competitive teams in the league. They play good defense, they keep opponents at low scores and they never let you many things in offense and, on top of that, they also rebound well. They have players who understand the defensive game well and the team has found mechanisms to feel safe on defense, they get many steals and they can score from steal. They are a cheeky team, smart, they know how to play and they do not fear Real Madrid because they are used to it."
Nate Reuvers, Valencia player
"We want to be the first team this season to defeat Real. It is a great challenge and a great motivation, especially here at home. We will try to defend La Fonteta and get a win, it would be amazing. If we play at our best level, it's hard to beat us here. All our players will not be at 100 percent but I am sure they will feel better just with the atmosphere we will have here while welcoming Real Madrid. We will give it our best shot."
Gabriel Deck, Real Madrid player
"We face this game as all other games and we will try to give it all both physically and mentally. We expect a tough game because Valencia will try to protect its court and we will try it all to get that win. We have been working well lately and we want to stay that way. We hope we meet the expectactions of the game. Intensity and concentration will be very important. We must look for good shots on offense and protect our rim and crash the boards on defense."