Ivan Lazarev: «Tournaments are the most enjoyable part of the preseason»




UNICS center Ivan LAZAREV spoke about the team's pre-season training and shared his expectations from the start of the upcoming VTB United League Super Cup in Moscow:

«The preseason does not start with tournaments. There is a huge amount of work behind the scenes – first of all, laying the foundation for physical and tactical training. We have guys in the squad who stayed from last season, as well as newcomers who need to be integrated into schemes and interactions, get used to each other and start to feel better about each other.

Tournaments are the most enjoyable part of the pre–season. Everyone prefers to play more than practice. So far we have a symbiosis – we play a lot, but also work a lot in training. It is too early to give any assessment - after all, the past tournaments had more of a verification status. We want to win every match, show our skills and confirm our high status. Control games provide a lot of information for basketball players and coaching staff to think about, but they are not a feature for summing up the results.

The VTB United League Super Cup is a tournament of greater importance both for our team and for the entire national basketball. I consider it an intermediate link between the pre-season and the official championship. This year it will be attended by 6 leading VTB United League teams and two strong Turkish clubs – Fenerbahce and Besiktas. I think the fans will have a real celebration. We are going to have three days of good basketball with a busy schedule with strong opponents.

The quarterfinal match against Pari NN will be our third match with them since the beginning of the preparatory process. If we didn't show everything we were going to in the first two, then I think the accents will be placed differently for the official games. When victory in an important competition is at stake, teams begin to use all resources, including tactical ones».

On Friday, September 22, at 17:00, Kazan will play a quarterfinal match against Pari Nizhny Novgorod on the floor of the capital's VTB Arena.