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Dionne Pounds shines with Tintos de Toro Caja Rural (+Interview)

Finnish combo guard  Dionne Pounds is having an impact preseason in her first year in Spain, averaging 15.5 points in 20 minutes per game with Tintos de Toro Caja Rural.

Dionne Pounds had her debut with 13 points against Burgos, adding 13 points more in the Castilla y Leon Cup won against Perfumerias Avenida Salamanca.

Few days after, Dionne Pounds scored 24 points (6 three pointers) against the same Euroleague rival, 11 points against Rivas Ecópolis, 7 again against Salamanca and was again the player of the game with 25 points with 5 three pointers in the win against Bembibre.

We speak with Dionne Pounds about her first weeks in Zamora:

After playing during the last five years in Finland, you decided to play this season in Spain and in Zamora.
How are you feeling during your first weeks  in the country and in the city?

I´m really liking it. I had a little difficulties at first trying to get use to the late practise schedule and the stores being closed during the day hahaa but im getting used to it and really starting to feel like this is home for the next year.

Caja Rural Tintos de Toro is a "young" club in 1st division and this well be their 2nd year at this level after a good first season.

What are your expectations for this year both individually and as a team and what kind of team do you think that it will be?

Individually I want to have a solid season. I want to be consistant with my performances. For our team I want us to make it to the play-offs.

We as a team havent yet talked about our goals for the season but I do think that making it to play- offs will be a realistic goal that we can achieve. We are a pretty young team but I think that we are pretty experienced team. We have a lot of smart players, players that know the game of basketball.

During your career you have played both in the point guard and in the shooting guard,  which position do you like the most and also which do you think that are your strengths as a basketball player and what you can offer to the team?

I like playing the shooting guard position. My strenghts are definitely shooting but I can also read the game pretty well. I also like attacking to the basket and creating shots for my teammates. As a point guard there are parts that I like. I like that I can lead the offense and have the ball in my hands.. hahaha but shooting guard is my spot. That is where I think im most effective.

Despite arriving to Zamora not too long ago, you have won your first championship with the team (Copa Castilla y León), defeating Bembibre in Semifinals and Perfumerias Avenida Salamanca in the final where you were the top scorer.  How was it to start the season like this and what are your  first thoughts about the level of play and the teams in Spain? How did you feel in those games?

I was so happy we won. I have heard great things about Salamanca and I was a little nervous playing against them, but as a team we played great and the win was such a team effort.

I think Salamanca is going to be a great team. I can tell that the team hasn't found their rhytm yet but when they do they are going to be tought. I was excited that we played so soon. I was a little nervous because we weren't really that prepared and because we came so late but we did great. The level of play is a little harder than in Finland but Im up for the challenge.

Yesterday you played in Wurzburg against Salamanca, one of the hottest gyms in Europe.  Again you had a very good game with 24 points and 6 three pointers and almost won the game.  How did you feel during the game and your thoughts about it?

hahaha I really wanted to beat them. I knew they were going to be better than last time and I knew they really wanted to beat us. It was a tought loss. I felt pretty good. I was really relaxed and I didn't think about my shooting during the game. I was just playing. I shot when I was open and today I made them. thats my job. hahhaaa

In Zamora you play with Taru Tuukkanen, who is a legend in Finnish basketball.   Do you remember hearing about her when you were a young girl?  You have played with her for many years in National Team, how is it to be now in the same team with her in Spain?

I love Taru. She has been so helpful out here these first weeks and just a great friend. Im so excited about playing with her this year. She is so smart and it is very easy to play with her.

I noticed my first week here, in practise I could tell where she was and playing with her came naturally. Probably because I played with her in the past but I think we play really well together. It is going to be a Fun year and she is a big part of it.

Finally, a wish for the season and a message for the fans in Zamora.

I already want to thank them because these few games they have came and shown suport. It feels great and during the season i want a lot of noise!!!

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