Barça forward Alex Abrines is clear that Nikola Mirotic is the “best player” on his team and that is why they will notice his withdrawal due to his Achilles tendon problems, although he does not hide that they have “players to supply him” in a team that that “he is always asked to win”, starting with the Endesa Super Cup this weekend in Seville.

“A club like ours is always asked to win, and the reinforcements and signings go according to that. The six new ones are all very good, there is a high level to compete for all the titles, but not just Real Madrid, there are many Euroleague teams that have been reinforced very well and it will not be an easy thing, but I think there is a team to compete and to win”, Abrines stressed to the media before the presentation this Thursday of the Endesa League 2022-2023.

The Spaniard believes that “it is difficult to say” how the reinforcements will perform because they have been training for “very little time”. “Da Silva and Paulí, who have been there longer, are more used to the system and the others are still a bit behind, but in the end it is normal. We have trained very little, we practically went without training in the first games and it is normal that they cost a little, but in time they will catch it,” he warned.

“It’s a very long squad, there will be times of the season when I have to play more and times less, there will be ups and downs, but I’m here to help, for whatever the coach asks of me and if one day I play 20 I’ll play 20 and if Another day is waving the towel, I’ll be there waving the towel,” he added about his forecasts for this new campaign.

In this sense, he is “better now” from his ankle problems. “This beginning of the preseason has cost me a bit, in training I have been getting used to the pain and now it seems that I am almost one hundred percent,” she remarked.

At the moment, they will not be able to count on Nikola Mirotic, injured in the Achilles tendon. “He’s our best player, we’re going to notice, but I think there are players to replace him, or at least they’re going to try to cover his loss a bit. I think those who are will take a step forward and try to give everything to win this second title this season,” he said.

After winning the Catalan League, Abrines believes that they arrive “well” in the Super Cup, although “with little training for the whole team”. “But luckily we have been able to play a couple of games in the Catalan League and get to know each other a little to try to face this Super Cup and try to win,” said the forward.

Looking ahead to the season, the Blaugrana forward knows that “there are always teams that surprise.” “Baskonia, Valencia, there are always many who give ‘war’, or the ‘Penya’ (Joventut), who made it very difficult for us last year in the semifinals and the team is practically the same. In the end, Barça and Madrid are the two who are always up there by name, but there are always three or four who are there waging war and can cause a surprise,” he stressed.

“With the team that we have assembled, we are going to be asked to play with more rhythm, more on the counterattack, and this new ACB rule is going to help us run more, and then the signing of Satoransky is going to give us more verticality. I think that we have a team to play faster and try to play more in transition”, detailed the Spaniard in relation to the new rule by which the referees no longer have to touch the ball for serves.

This regulation “will favor the smartest”. “At the beginning it will cost more to get used to, more when you have two competitions that in one you can and in another you can’t, but we have already seen in the Catalan League matches, especially in the Manresa and Penya matches, that they were teams that ran a lot and we saw a couple of easy baskets. I think that during the year we will see it and for the spectator it will be better”, he commented.


On the other hand, when asked about the team’s gold at Eurobasket, Abrines confessed that he enjoyed it “very much”. “I had many friends from past times like Alberto (Díaz), who I met with him a long time ago and with his brother, with Jaime Fernández, and in the end I was very happy for them, because, if every year, unfortunately, there is a little doubt about the selection, this year with more reason and in the end they have shown that they have something. It doesn’t matter who goes, this team will always be there competing and winning”, he admitted.

The forward does not consider that the options were doubted because of the quality of the team “but because you saw the other teams, such as Serbia, Slovenia, France, who went with everything.” “In the end, in terms of names, Spain was one step below, but this sport must be demonstrated on the track and the name alone is not worth it,” he said.

“Alberto, clearly,” he replied about who had been the best of the tournament in his opinion. “Nobody expected this defensive facet that it has, which obviously I and those who watch ACB know about it, but it was at a very high level and also added in attack and in moments of key games it gave us that plus”, he sentenced.