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Moncho López: “We'll have to run a lot”

Coach gives favouritism to Bnei Herzliya, but believes that the best version of FC Porto may contradict him

FC Porto reaches the second leg of the second qualifying round for the FIBA European Cup after beating Bnei Herzliya in the first leg (68-65), but Moncho López continues to give favouritism to the Israeli team in qualifying to the group stage. The Galician coach believes, however, that, if the Dragons present their “hardworking and committed to the goals version”, the chances of success will increase. The coach also stated that the presence of the supporters will be fundamental, as it will help the team overcome, a thought shared by Marcus Gilbert, who was with the coach in the preview of the match scheduled for 20h30, this Wednesday, at Dragão Caixa, with live broadcast on Porto Canal.

The best version
“I believe that, in this game, hardworking and committed to the goals version will appear, and not the one that we showed last Saturday. The victory in Israel gives us confidence that we can compete against a superior team, but, in that match, despite the victory, there were signs on the other side that showed we will have a game of great difficulty. The home factor can help us be focused, and feeling the presence of the fans is important, especially since it will be a match in which the tactical aspects will be very sustained on the emotional aspects. Hopefully, we will control frustration, and endure the physical game, with many fouls, that the Israeli team may use, due to their physical superiority.”

The recipe for victory
“Bnei Herzliya showed signs that they were learning how to play against us, also changing their positioning and playing, which meant that, in the final part, the result could have gone to either side. So I think they will be closer to what we saw in the last period, very powerful in the rebound, which allows them to constantly resort to counterattacking. Our chances of victory will go through there, on being able to have a good defensive recovery and mainly control their defensive rebound and their outside game, having a good decision on throws and a good capacity to react to their possession. And our chances will also go a lot through mentality that the national player has, the ability to work, to suffer, and to take a step forward in terms of effort and concentration.”

Favouritism on the other side
“I still have the same opinion: it will be very difficult to qualify. The favouritism is still on their side, even because we are winning by three points. During the game, we will have to run a lot, continue to believe and put some pressure on the other side.”

Marcus Gilbert (forward)
“I think they will focus on me more, so I will look for the team as I always do. Everyone has an important role in the team, everyone is feeling well, every player has a role to play, knowing what to do, and doing it well, so we’ll do a good job. And we always count on the support of the fans to overcome the odds. Let's hope they show up in mass.”

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