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Maikel Lopez: We are going to be ambitious in the Cup and in the League

Aluinvent DVTK Miskolc with spanish coach Maikel Lopez and our players Naigmouna Coulibaly and Romina Ciappina will play today at 6pm agains PEAC Pecs the most interesting game of the Hungarian Cup Quarterfinals.

Maikel Lopez arrives to the Cup after winning seven of his last eight league games and after recovering averages against PEAC Pecs (13-5), Gyor (12-6) and Pinkk Pecs (11-7) to finish the regular season in the third position with a 12 wins 6 losses balance.

We spoke with Maikel Lopez a few hours before the start of the Hungarian Cup:

Your Miskolc arrives to the Hungarian Cup after improving the performance in the second round of the regular season and especially against your closest rivals. A good example is the last game against Györ in which you won by 12 points away after losing at home in the first round.

What has changed in your team so that in this second part of the competition your results are quite better?

The big difference is that now we are quite different from the first round team.

Then we were all game winning except in the last minute that they went ahead and did not know how to react.

In that game also our two starting posts were ejected by five fouls, further adding that the two foreigners who had a fresh from an injury and had only two weeks training with what played quite reduced.

Our team is now rather more complete and that bound to have worked several weeks with almost complete template has enabled us to achieve positive dynamic in which we find ourselves.

It was precisely your victory on the final day to Györ and recover the average what has allowed you to finish the regular season in third position. Otherwise you would have finished fourth with a complicated semifinal against Sopron which is by far the most budget team competition. How have you experienced this key game against Györ and how the game was developed?

The game started in the worst possible way as in the first quarter almost scored 8 consecutive triples that ignited all alarms and came to send the score by 17 points which blew all alarms.

However, overall the game we were the better because once we beat anxiety for wanting to win and begin to regain positive feelings we get to be the only team on the court, also joined the logical lowering their rates.

In the games against Pinkk something similar happened. Defeat in the first leg victory 69-64 and 71-55 in the return, One more confirmation of your evolution during the championship?

One of the main problems is motivated because much of the first round we played with only two foreign players and a less extensive than at present template.

We had two situations with major players finally could not play with our club (for serious injury and administrative problems) and that conditioned our first round.

To this must be added the injuries that prevented us to rotate more in matches and train with sufficient quality. All this together made our start was quite complicated and also did not have too many options to do different approaches.

The good news is that despite that we were able to compete and still losing games set to do so later in the second round and now with the "complete" team "greased" getting beat and recover averages.

Naignouma Coulibaly is being the most outstanding player in your team, averaging 12.7 points and 10.3 rebounds and +19.6 efficiency  in 26 minutes per game, being also the best rebounder of all FIBA CUP and gradually gaining more "responsibility" in your team. ¿What is your vision about Naignouma and did you expect that she would give this performance?

Naignouma Coulibaly is a crucial player in the zone and a great specialist in rebound and defense.

With us, she has taken a step further because we have sought situations where she has to define and establish herself as the leader of the team.

Over the years it is true that the players are acquiring a field in which to specialize but in my point of view, Coulibaly is a very complete player and she has to go further. Her physical and talents are formidable and now she is involved in every play, making herself available to other players and her teammates try to find her.  She is an example to follow.

Now that the regular season has finished, it comes the most important part of the season, that is the Cup and the Playoffs. How is your team preparing this part of the season and which is your goal now?

As for the Cup, the top eight teams in the regular season play and their matchups are decided through lottery.

We have a very difficult game this Thursday because we start against (2nd best team in regular season and the only one until now to be able to beat Sopron).  They know us and we know them will and will try to make them make mistakes.

After the Cup we will start the quarterfinals in the playoffs and against ZTE NKK (6th place), a team that is around 500 km from Miskolc and that has managed to win at their court against some of our rivals, even we were able to win both games against them.

Hungarian league has this season 5 teams that compete in FIBA Cup and each of them has some high level players.

That makes us aware that every season is complicated and interesting but also at the same time we want to keep growing inside and outside the league.

As for our goals, we are ambitious and we will go for both the League and Cup.

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