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Leonor Rodríguez shines in Perfumerías Avenida Salamanca

Leonor Rodríguez is shining in Perfumerías Avenida, averaging 6.8 points in 16 minutes per  game in Euroleague and 8.4 points in 17 minutes per game in Spanish First Division League, helping her team to stay in Liga Femenina´s top position after defeating Cadí La Seu last saturday (55-67).

The spanish international shooting guard has made some major steps forward during the current season and she is currently Perfumerias Avenida top player both in points per 40 minutes (18.16) as in efficiency per 40 minutes (+18.36), something really rare for a guard in an Euroleague team.

Leonor Rodríguez is also having agood shot selection, averaging 59.1% from the field, 32.1% from the three point line and spectacular 93.8% in free throws.

We speak with Leonor after the win in La Seu d´Urgell:

Perfumerías Avenida is in good shape in the league achieving seven wins in a row, and currently leading the competition after eight games. How were these first eight games and how do you see Salamanca’s future in this competition?

The start of the season was difficult and complicated because we lost the Super Spanish cup against Girona and the opening league against Conquero. Obviously in Salamanca, like other professional clubs, there is pressure to win, and even if we lose, we have to be competitive. This didn’t happen in those two games and it was difficult.

This sparked a change in the team, and since then we have played more as a team and believed in ourselves, resulting in wins. During that time, new players joined us and we were able to work together as a group.

The Spanish league is really competitive and there are so many good teams. It is hard to win all the games, especially when playing away. Right now, we have good momentum and need to keep moving forward with this dynamic.

The next game is at home, so our supporters will be there to help us get the win.

Perfumerías Avenida offices have had a busy summer forming a competitive team, since only three players remain from last season.

What differences are there between Perfumerías Avenida 2014-15 and 2015-16 and what do the new players bring to the team?

It is a team with less experience and younger compared with last year. At the same time, it is more complete and with a fresh outlook.

The new players haven’t played or nothing or not too many minutes in Euroleague, so we have to be humble, work and play together.

After shinning in Florida State in your senior year (14.9 points, 3.6 rebonds and 3.2 assists per game) you are living your third season in the Spanish First Division League.

What level has the league this year compared with previous seasons?

When I came back from USA, I felt a big change in the competition here. The ‘all-stars’ and important national players have gone and joined other leagues.

The league this year is more competitive compared to recent seasons, and each year the teams are improving their rosters. However, if you compare with the league five or six years ago, it’s completely different.

Looking forward, because of the crisis and the fact that the big name players have gone, it opened up many opportunities for young players to play in this league, and this makes our national basketball better.

You have already won two Queen Cups with Perfumerías Avenida and after reviewing the current ladder, everything seems on track to play it for the third consecutive year. What teams do you think will contend it?

This year there are good teams in the top/middle of the ladder, and all of them have the capability to qualify for the Queens Cup. All four spots are going to be hotly contested and it is difficult to know who will play it.

Personally, I hope that my team qualifies and play it well, hoping that let us win a new Queen Cup.

Perfumerías Avenida is also playing Euroleague and in this competition you haven’t started really well after losing against Kosice, Sopron and Schio. However, in Wuzburg you defeated  the French ESBVA-LM after do a great game. How have you seen this start of Euroleague and how do you feel going into the next few games?

In Salamanca, the general consensus is that playing the Euroleague and playing against the best players in the world is a luxury. Our objective in this competition is to fight in all the games, and if we can get a victory then it’s a bonus.

Similar to the Spanish League, our Euroleague season didn’t start well. We were losing and not presenting the image we wanted.

After a month of competition, we are starting to be competitive, like in the games against Sopron and Schio, where we were in with a chance to win until the last moments.

I am looking forward to playing at home again. Our supporters are always there cheering us on and helping us to win. At home, with them, we are much stronger!

This year in your position you have the most competence since you got to Salamanca because you are fighting for the minutes with Gabriela Marginean, one of the best guards of Europe, and with two American players that this summer they played the WNBA although they haven’t played much.

Despite all the difficulties, you are playing your best and you are Perfumerías Avenida top player both in points as in efficiency per 40 minutes. How are you feeling on the court and how have you adapted to the new Salamanca?

I’m feeling comfortable and I think that my hard work in the summer is paying off.

I know and understand my role in the team, and will do whatever they order from the sidelines. I want to continue improving and work everyday to become a more complete player.

Leonor Rodriguez no look pass (31.10.2015)

Highlights Leonor Rodriguez 2014-15

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