Peyton Siva: Trying to get better and better!

Jan 23, 2017 by Peyton Siva - Berlin, Germany Print
Peyton Siva: Trying to get better and better!

It wasn't easy, but we managed to get our first Top 16 win against Cedevita. They are a good team. They came out and made a lot of shots. I think at the end of the second quarter and in the fourth quarter we made our runs, played better defense and helped our bigs on the glass. I think that was the main thing. It was definitely, as far as EuroCup, the most-important game of the year, especially since if we lost, we were pretty much out of the qualifying for the next round. So this definitely keeps us alive and helps us to try and advance. We shared the ball well, finishing the game with 30 assists. This is the way our team plays. Everybody is very unselfish. Everybody likes to get each other involved in the game. We like playing with each other. Everybody likes to move the ball. Everybody likes passing and I think that’s a great thing about this team. Anybody can score on any given night and everybody likes to swing the ball. I think our coach does a good job of coaching that.

I think it was my best game of the season - I was three rebounds away from getting a triple double! Everything was just going right. This was a good matchup for me and coach allowed me to play. I had a triple double in the D-League when I played with Erie. My whole thing is I have to continue to go to the glass. I hear there’s only been eight triple-doubles in the EuroCup, so it would be great to get one here also. I just feel like I’m getting healthy and not having any problems. And our team is coming along really well. I wouldn’t have all these assists if my teammates weren’t making shots. So I think that’s a big part of it. So for myself just getting healthier and healthier and feeling better really shows in the way I play.

I’ve always been a guy who gets a lot of steals since college. Coach Pitino always stressed getting steals and getting deflections. I led the Italian League in steals last year, and I lead the EuroCup Top 16 now. And one of my strong suits is being able to play off the ball and read the passing lanes, especially when we have guys like Engin Atsur and Akeem Vargas pressuring the ball, I’m able to read the passing lanes a lot. It worked well against Cedevita. They got Ryan Boatwright, who’s a terrific scorer. He can score in bunches and I think we did a great job of denying him easy shots and easy looks. We got a good job out of our bigs; it was a total team effort. I played Boatwright in college and I know how quickly he can score and how much he can score.

We now have another game against Cedevita in Zagreb. It’s another must-win for us because of the standings and where we’re at. It’s definitely a very important game. We have to come in with the mindset to continue to fight and play hard and play tough. And we know they are going to come out and play the same way. We have to come out and be ready. I think we need to improve in keeping them off the offensive glass. And another thing is to continue to keep their scorers from scoring in bunches. Like Boatwright, to contain him as best is possible.

If we win, we will be able to challenge both Spanish teams, Valencia and Unicaja, for a playoffs spot. I think the first time we played both teams, I felt like we could have won both games. I felt like in the Malaga game, we had a terrible second quarter and in Valencia I think we had a chance to win at the end and things just didn’t go our way. So I think we’re ready for both teams, but we have to play Cedevita first and try to get that win. I think the deep roster Valencia has is impressive. They can get 20 points from any player and they really show that. I think they’re a really good team. They are a really great shooting time. Same with Malaga; Oliver Lafayette came off the bench in the fourth quarter and had about 7 quick points and that just shows the depth of their team.

am enjoying the EuroCup a lot. I like playing games more than practice. To play these other teams and to continue to travel the world is pretty amazing. There are definitely different playing styles wherever you go. I think in the Spanish League a lot of the teams are, like Valencia and Malaga, a lot deeper. They get out and are really good at fast breaks and spotting up for threes. Other teams like to pick up full court, especially like in the German League, where they like to press. Different places you go, you see different coaching styles and different ways teams play.

We have different roommates everywhere we go. Last time I had Ismet Akpinar, a young point guard on our team. He’s a really great guy. He’s from Hamburg and an extremely hard worker. He pushes me every day in practice. He’s a funny kid and I think he’s going to be good in the future. He works really hard. He’s really great. I enjoy being around my teammates. They’re great guys. As for the city, Niels Giffey is from Berlin. He always knows where to go and what to see, but I’ve pretty much found my way around. It’s not too hard to get around.

I think we need to continue to play together, continue to share the ball and I think that’s going to help us out as will hitting the glass and rebounding and keeping our opponents off the glass. If we do, we will challenge for a playoffs spot!