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A silent defensive leader, Adam Hanga opens up to the club's official media to talk about the upcoming Copa del Rey campaign - and much more besides.
What was it like growing up playing basketball in Hungary?
I started playing aged 6, but until I was 14 or 15 I didn't know that I was going to be a professional player. When I was 15 I moved from Budapest to Székesfehérvár to start playing professionally. It was a little tough, because I was young and I was far away from my family. However, it was the best decision of my career, because I grew as a player and as a person. It allowed me to get to where I am today, at Barça.
How much do you value the Copa del Rey wins from your first two years at Barça?
These two trophies mean a lot to me. When a player retires, they remember the trophies. Obviously there have been games in which I've played well and scored a lot of points, but those two games that we won against Real Madrid to lift the trophy are what I will remember when I'm 60 or 70 years old. A player plays to win trophies.
“We have to take things steadily and not put a lot of pressure on ourselves”“ Adam Hanga
Are you the team to beat this season?
I don't know if we are the favourites, but we won the first Copa del Rey when we weren't. Obviously we are facing this one differently. We're playing well, both in the Euroleague and the Spanish league. We are in a good situation, but the cup is a completely different competition. You have to win three games in three days, and it's hard. We have to take things steadily and not put a lot of pressure on ourselves, because it will be hard to win three on the bounce. But we'll try. We are going to Malaga to win the cup.
What does it mean to play for Barça?
It means a lot. When I signed for Barça it was a dream come true. In the three years I've spent here, we've gradually grown as a team and improved. Now I feel at home and my family are very happy. My home is here, in Barcelona.
Does extending your contract through to 2022 mean stability?
I'm very happy, just like my family. Stability is important, above all for them. I'm a person who likes the stability of being here. This is an historic club that always fight for trophies. I'm delighted to be part of Barça's history.
How prepared are you for Valencia Basket?
We're confident and in good form. However, we need to do well tactically and mentally. The first step is overcoming Valencia; it will be a tough game. They are a side who like to play low-post, and who have a lot of experience. We have had four games against them this season, and in all of them there has been overtime. We have to face the game as if it were our last.
What is the key to how the group work?
We have six or seven players who have formed the foundation of this team for three years. We've also signed players with a lot of quality. Everybody knows what they have to do, and we have put together a good group -although we can always improve.
What is your role in the group?
This year is different for me. For my entire career I've played as a '2' or a '3'. However, this year I'm in a new position. I have more responsibility than in previous years and I have to think much more about my teammates. The defensive responsibility is greater as well, because everything starts with the '1.'
How important has Svestilav Pesic been to your development?
We always talk about the defence, both before and during the game. He's a coach who helps me a lot to get better every day in my new position.
Do you work more on defence or offence in practice?
Both. The days in which we work a little more on defence is because we conceded a lot of points in the previous game. Likewise, if we haven't scored over 60 points, then we work more on offence. However, our philosophy is to start everything from defence. We always have to think about not letting the opposition score.
Hanga describes his teammates
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