|17 February 2010|
Few players are as eager to run onto the court at the Copa del Rey in Spain this week as Belgium's Axel Hervelle.
Surplus to requirements at Real Madrid following the arrival of new coach Ettore Messina, Hervelle moved to Bizkaia Bilbao Basket last month and over the weekend he made a very loud statement that was heard by his former employers.
Hervelle tore Madrid apart with 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists as Bilbao won 87-80.
He was then voted MVP of the Week in Spain's ACB.
"I am very happy for the win," he said.
"Without a doubt it was a special game.
"But I am a professional and I left my emotions behind me.
"We needed the win and that was my only focus."
Hervelle, 27, had some outstanding games in his more than five years with Real Madrid, and he sure had a lot of thrills last summer when helping Belgium reach the EuroBasket 2009 Additional Qualifying Round Final against France.
The presence of new signings Novica Velickovic and Jorge Garbajosa, and Madrid captain Felipe Reyes, made Hervelle the odd man out at Real.
He is confident that Bilbao is the right outfit for him, and he's hoping to help the Basque club climb back into contention for a spot in the ACB play-offs.
They are currently third-bottom in the standings.
Bilbao were given entry to the Copa as the city is hosting the event and on Friday, Hervelle and his teammates will take on Caja Laboral.
"I am adapting very well to the club and to the city," he said.
"Everyone has helped me.
"I don't know if this victory will change the trend of the team, but we are working hard and we are on the right path to change things around."