Brazilian Raul Neto "Raulzinho" ('92) is one of the big surprises in ACB. The 6'1'' point-guard, who has italian passport, is playing for Lagun Aro. The team from San Sebastian, coached by former Joventut Sito Alonso, has a 2-6 record (sharing the last position with four teams more), with experienced players like american Andy Panko and Sergi Vidal. Raulzinho, who landed from his home country (Pitagoras/Minas) last summer, has played all eight games, averaging 7.3 points (91% free throws) and 2.0 assists in only 18 minutes. In the U19 World Championship of Latvia he made a great tournament: 14.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists. Eurohopes staff contacted with him.
-What did make you decide to sign with Lagun Aro?
I played with Marcelinho Huertas (actually with Barcelona) in the national team, and he told me that the team was interested in me. He also told me great words around Sito (Alonso). He didn't know the team, but many people were talking good things telling me that I will play ACB, being a great experience, better than LEB Gold or LEB Silver.
-How can you resume your performance in this league's start?
I think I've started a bit lower than the level I can reach, but now I am adapting better. I'm getting better in every game and practice.
-What is your goal for this season as a player?
Adapt well to the league, to the team (the coach is really exigent) and earn much experience, improving always.
-Last summer you made a big U19 World Championship in Latvia. How you define your job there?
I had a big responsability because I was one of the main players. It helped me. I made a regular tournament in points, assists,... I think I made a good championship.
-There are many brazilian players in Europe. Is the best way for your evolution?
Yes, I think so. Because is a different basketball than the one I played in Brazil. And also different from the NBA one, that is more physical. Here you must think more, and for a point-guard like me is the best.
-Your name is already in some mock NBA drafts. How do you see this from the distance?
Actually I am focus in my team and around what I am doing here.
-Did you plan to make the NCAA some years ago?
I wanted to go there, but I was a pro in Brazil and I couldn't. Is also a kind of basketball I like. But I think that play ACB is better.
Photo: ACB Photo