So, we go back to Berlin for Game 3. It is a strange series. Unconventional, at least. We won Game 1 in Berlin and wanted to finish at home – but, unfortunately, we couldn't beat them. We ended up losing by 20, but this is not how the game should have ended. We competed against them, but of course made some mistakes that we need to work on. Overall, I think we are more or less at the same level, these two teams, and anything can happen in Game 3. We allowed them to control the rhythm in Game 2, and that was a mistake. If you pick up a lot of turnover or you just make some bad decisions against ALBA, or take bad shots, all of that can lead to fastbreak opportunities. They are a really good team when playing in transition, so we have to eliminate this element as much as we can.
"The team that wants it more usually wins."
Of course, if we were able to win in Berlin once, we can do it again. This is one of the keys; it all comes down to one game in Berlin on Wednesday. We need to be prepared for their physicality and be mentally ready for a big basketball battle. We showed we can compete against them and played a great second half in Game 1. We will try to try to do it for 40 minutes this time. We have played some do-or-die EuroCup games before. I think that the home-court advantage doesn't mean anything in the last game, honestly, because the team that wants it more usually wins. We have to show our character, the way we did in the second half of Game 1 in Berlin, and try to play strong 40 minutes, avoiding as many easy points as we can.
Two years ago we won the EuroCup winning a couple of Game 3s on the road, against FC Bayern Munich and Valencia Basket. I remember that we lost Game 1 of the finals in Valencia and it was our fifth straight loss against them that season, so we were frustrated that we couldn't beat them. Finally, with the help of a full crowd at Martin Carpena, we did it in Game 2 and started to believe we could win the EuroCup. Mentally, we were able to see we could compete against them and beat them, and that helped us in the last game, for sure. The same can be said about Bayern, more or less. We lost the first game, then won at home in front of amazing crowd. We were a bit tougher in Game 3 and that was the key to win that game.
We need to use our big guys as much as we can. We know how they defend our big guys and will try to punish that. Of course, it is not easy but we will try to find the way. I believe that the most important thing is sharing the ball and making ALBA play defense as long as possible, so that they can make more mistakes. We have played against each other twice, and that will help both teams prepare the game even better.
"We will try to find the right rhythm and win the game."
I understand that some of our fans were disappointed, of course. We were also disappointed after Game 2. We wanted to win and advance after taking that very important first step in Berlin. I still think that our fans believe in us and we believe in ourselves as well. Being confident is very important in a situation like this. We know that if we do things right, if we execute well, we will have a good chance to win in Berlin again. This weekend, we had another Spanish League game at home and there were many fans waiting for us after the game to wish us good luck in Berlin. We have their support and really believe, so we are going to Berlin to fight. We already won there and know how it is. We just need to play really, really hard.
The most important thing is playing with the right mentality. The pressure is on them because they play at home and want to advance to the semifinals in front of their fans. Sometimes this pressure is too much. We will try to find the right rhythm and win the game. The team that plays harder and smarter will advance, I am sure. Some of us have been in this situation before and won, and experience is always a plus. We have more experienced players and know how it is. We will try to give everything for 40 minutes, and we know that each minute is going to count and be important for us. All we want right now is to advance to the semifinals. And if we do, then we will think about the next opponent. Right now, we have to go to Berlin, compete and try to win the game.