Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius bounced back last week from two initial losses in the 7DAYS EuroCup Top 16, and did so in high style, downing Nizhny Novgorod 63-97 on the road. Even when a lot of Rytas players stood out, sharp-shooter David Logan led the way with 30 points and 6 assists, with a performance index rating of 38 that made him the Top 10 Round 3 MVP. Logan has been a great scorer throughout his career and has now made it into the Top 20 in the EuroCup's all-time scoring list. He currently ranking 18th overall with 899 points. This season, Logan is also excelling at passing the ball, averaging a career-high 5.8 assists so. Logan is now in his fifth EuroCup season. He originally took PGE Turow Zgorzelec to the quarterfinals in 2008, then returned after five seasons in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague to play for ALBA Berlin and Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari. As Rytas gets ready for a rematch against Nizhny at home on Wednesday, Logan knows it is not his team which has a lot to change, as he says in this EuroCupbasketball.com interview. "I think it is going to be different, not on our end but on their end, meaning that we are not going to change our game plan," Logan said. "We will stick to the game plan that we had and they probably will change a few things, so that the outcome is not how it was."
Hello David, congratulations on the big win against Nizhny Novgorod. Was it your best game this season?
"Overall, yes, I think so – not just talking about the score, but the way we played. Communication helped contribute to the win and the large margin, so I definitely think it was our biggest and best game so far."
It was also your first Top 16 win. Does it send a message to the rest of the group?
"For sure. We let the first game against Jerusalem flip; we could have had that win, but we have to move forward now and focus on the second game against Nizhny. We are still in the run for a playoffs spot in the EuroCup."
Speaking of the rematch against Nizhny, how different do you expect that game to be?
"I think it is going to be different, not on our end but on their end, meaning that we are not going to change our game plan. We will stick to the game plan that we had and they probably will change a few things, so that the outcome is not how it was. I think it will be a different game."
Nizhny scored 63 points against you but had 113 against Zenit. Does that make them more dangerous, knowing they can score a lot on a good night?
"Well, we knew that going into the first game, especially at their place. They like to get up and down on the fastbreak and score in transition, and we wanted to limit that as much as possible. I think that is one of the reasons why we won and held them to 63, because we didn't let them get out and run, which is what they like to do. That was an important piece of the game."
You have been a great scorer throughout your career but this season, you are averaging almost 6 assists in EuroCup action. Are you playing a different role?
"Kind of, yes, a little bit. I am playing more pick-and-roll and making better decisions. I guess you can say I have a more important role in my team. I am playing almost 30 minutes per game, so that gives me the opportunity to be on the floor more. You can say the role is a little bit bigger."
You have reunited with coach Tomas Pacesas after being very successful together, even reaching the EuroLeague playoffs at one point. How do you like to work with him again?
"It is going good. Believe it or not, he is still making us do the same stuff in practice and have some of the same philosophy that we had in Prokom. That was funny for me, because he tells you the same things he was using at Prokom. Back then, he gave me the opportunity to play in the EuroLeague and I was very successful playing for him at Prokom. It was one of the reasons why I decided to come here."
Before that, you played your first EuroCup season with PGE Turow Zgorzelec and took that team to the EuroCup final eight against all odds. What do you remember about it?
"I just think we were successful because we played good defense that year. We didn't have the most talented team but everybody believed in coach (Saso Filipovski)'s philosophy and we stuck together. It was hard for teams to score on us and I think that we were a big surprise in the EuroCup that year."
You cracked the Top 20 in the EuroCup's all-time scoring chart. None of the players in that list has a better scoring average than you. What does it take to be such a good scorer everywhere you played?
"I think it is confidence. If you want to be a good scorer, you have to feel like every shot is going in and no-one can stand in front of you. Confidence is one of the biggest things on being a great scorer, on being able to do what you want on the court."
How demanding is the EuroCup, with different stages in which teams leave the competition regularly after some games?
"It is tough. I wish it was a little bit like the EuroLeague, where you can play longer in the competition, but it makes the games more important. In the first couple of rounds, you have to take care of the points difference in order to advance and it makes the competition more stressful. It usually comes down to the last game, whether you try to advance to get a better position. We were fortunate to get into the Top 16 in the last game."
You still have one more game against Nizhny, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem and Zenit St. Petersburg. What it will take to reach the playoffs?
"I think it is very important to win our remaining home games. You never know which other scores we will have in this group and what will work for you in the end, but if we are able to win our two remaining home games, I think we will be in a good position to advance to the playoffs."