22 June, 2016
02 July
to read

Ayuso ready to fly high on home soil

ZARAGOZA (2016 FIBA U17 Women’s World Championship) – It’s the first day of the tournament and so fittingly, we jumped out to catch home star and sharp-shooter, Aina Ayuso of Spain.

FIBA.com: Matosinhos was a strange tournament for Spain. There were some great performances (Russia) and some not so good (Portugal/Italy). Now, almost 12 months later how do you assess this FIBA U16 Women’s European Championship?
Aina Ayuso: One year later, I have good memories. The day before the game against Russia, when we were told we would be playing against them, it really scared us as they were the big favourites of the tournament. But then we played an almost perfect game. It is true that we missed out on a medal, but I think the memory we will always have is that match against Russia.

FIBA.com: You had some fantastic fans in Matosinhos of course now there will be many more in Zaragoza. What impact will this support have on you and the team and playing at home?
Aina Ayuso: We talk about this a lot, because we do not want it to be added pressure. We are going into the competition with great enthusiasm and the fans will be a plus for us. We are so eager to get started now.

FIBA.com – You have a new coach in Victor Lapena. What is it like to be working with him having coached with Lucas Mondelo and the senior Spanish players?

Aina Ayuso: I personally find it very comfortable working with him. He is a very prestigious coach, but he tells us things very clearly. We are pleased to have Victor as our coach!

FIBA.com – Did you watch the senior Spanish team play in Nantes and qualify for Rio and what did you think of the games and of their chances of success in Brazil?

Aina Ayuso: We enjoyed watching the match against Korea and I sincerely believe that they will do very well and will be high in the standings in Rio. They can play well and they have a good defense and a great counter-attack. With Sancho Lyttle, Laura Nicholls and Laura Gil inside, with Anna Cruz, Alba Torrens and Laia Palau outside, they have a great team! I really enjoy watching Palau.

FIBA.com – In the last years you have played at Segle XXI where many ex-players are well known like Queralt Casas, Laura Gil and Angela Salvadores. What do you learn at the club and what parts of your game have you been working hard to improve in the past 12 months?

Aina Ayuso: When you go to Segle XXI, it affects you personally. You leave home and grow up much faster than girls your age. Then from a professional perspective, you train morning and evening, every day, with fantastic coaches, so you progress physically and tactically. Overall progress has been huge.