Hanga: “It’s my fourth Final Four and I have to win it”

How did you get to this Final Four?

I think we got there fine. After qualifying for the Final Four I think the team has a good dynamic. We have lifted a series losing 2-0, we have won three games in a row against Partizán and we have played very well in the two games that we have had between the qualifying round and the Final Four, with a very good game, very solid. Now we have a whole week to prepare to play against an opponent we have played many times and we are very excited.

For you, who have been at Barça, is this a more special game?

A Final Four semifinal is special on its own, it doesn’t matter if it’s Barça or another team. Now I am a Real Madrid player and I am delighted to be here. We have played many times against them and we are going to play more times, surely. It is a classic. They are two teams that have had a season. Barça have also played very well throughout the season, in the regular season, then beating Zalgiris 3-0… Both teams are really looking forward to lifting this title.

Are the games you’ve played against them this season worth anything or is this a different matter?

Every match is different. Last year we lost all our regular league games and then we beat them in the playoffs. We have played games against them with many points, with few points… It will be another game. Obviously there will be a lot of pressure, both teams are very anxious to win, each player to do well. In the end, it is the details that change this type of game: the rebounds, the split balls that must be won. In these few details is how such a game is decided.

Do you see any difference when preparing a Final Four between the dressing room of Madrid and Barça?

Every team and every coach is different. Now I have another dressing room with other types of players. The two teams come from a very different playoff. They have won 3-0, let’s say easily, and we have suffered a lot, doing something that nobody had done until now. I experienced something similar with Barça, because we started losing against Zenit and ended up winning the fifth game. We are fine right now. We have changed our face after 2-0, everything that has happened has positively affected the team, and I see all the players and coaches with great enthusiasm. Last year we reached the final and I think a lot of people didn’t believe in us. This year, after the 2-0 loss, not many people believed either and we are in the Final Four. We know that the Final Four is something very specific, it’s like the Copa del Rey, one match and it decides a lot the level of success. But the team is ready.

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Did the tie against Partizan teach you anything that you didn’t know about yourselves?

The conclusion we have drawn is that we never give up, that we must fight until the end. Although I think that everyone has thought, including among us, that we were going to fight for our pride, for being a Real Madrid player and turn this around. In the third and fourth games in Belgrade we were very solid. The fifth did not go the way we wanted, but we believed until the end. We have learned that, even if we are losing by a lot and no one believes that it can be turned around, we have to fight until the end.

By how you have arrived, do you have a greater capacity for suffering than Barça?

I don’t know, we’ll see about this. The capacity for suffering depends on the day, the match, the person. As I said, they have been two very different qualifiers and you never know what is better to face a Final Four. Mentally we are fine, physically we have recovered some players. We know that there are players who are not going to be there, but we have a squad that is made for these moments, to try to win all the titles.

Do you feel that this Final Four could be the one to hit the table to dispel any doubts that may exist with the team?

Hopefully. It is my fourth Final Four and I have to win it. I feel very proud to be part of this team. Living the fifth game against Partizán on the field and on the bench has been something impressive and I will never forget it. But I am missing a title in my Hungarian showcase and it is the Euroleague. I really want to and hopefully this is my year.

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