Quarterfinal Analyst: Jurica Golemac - Alba Berlin

Mar 18, 2010 by Eurocupbasketball.com Print
Jurica Golemac - Alba Berlin (Photo: Teramo Basket) Now in his third Eurocup campaign, Alba Berlin big man Jurica Golemac is seeking his first trip to the semifinals. To do so, he must lead his team past the first team with whom he reached the competitions quarterfinals, Hapoel Jerusalem. Golemac spent the 2006-07 season in Jerusalem, helping the club win the Israeli Cup. Though the entire roster has changed since then, the veteran will still be familiar with the fans and the atmosphere in the Israeli capital. Hapoel was just one of the stops for Golemac, a well-traveled player and former double-digit scorer in the Euroleague who has played five seasons with four clubs from four countries in Europes elite competition. Since joining Berlin midway through the season, Golemac has proven to be a valuable all-around threat and could be a key force in helping his new team reach new heights in the Eurocup.

How has been the season for you and Alba so far?

"This last win against DKV Joventut give us a different look to this season. Not so far away, we lost the chance to win the German Cup and had just lost a game in the German League, so we didn't play well recently in the last couple of weeks - plus I got injured but hope to be back in time to help my team in the second leg. The win against Joventut cleared our situation a little bit. We are back in track and with good chances to make it to the Eurocup Finals. The fact that Aris lost le Mans allowed us to be first and be in a better situation in the Quarterfinals. Even with that, all eight teams are good in this phase and everyone is dangerous."

You played for Hapoel in the past. Which are the main strengths as a team?

"Like most Israeli teams, their main strength is their strong offense. They like to score and defense may be their weakest side. When I was there, the team played really fast, focusing a lot in offense, with transition game and many three-point shots. They have a very talented team this season, with a lot of good foreign players - and good Israeli ones, too."

How important will the home court advantage be in this two-way series?

"It is always better to play the second game at home, knowing what you have to do to win the series - what is going ond and which kind of win you need to advance. I was in Hapoel for a year and know how difficult is to play in there. Hapoel has great fans and it is really hard to win in there. You never know what is going to happen there."

From your point of view, which are Hapoel's most dangerous players?

"I don't know all of their players yet, but I am sure Dijon Thompson, who played for Alba in the past, is one of the best players in Hapoel this season. I know Sharon Shason and their young playmaker, Yuval Naimy, who really stepped up this season. He has been playing amazingly. I played against him when I was in Israel and he was alreayd and pretty good shooter and scorer. He will be the toughest guy to stop along with Thompson and - if he plays - Kevinn Pinkney. We haven't seen them on tape yet, then I will have a better idea on them. I also know their coach, Guy Goodes, who was an assistant in Maccabi."

What does your team have to overcome Hapoel in the series?

"It is obvious that we need to stop their offense because they scored 111 points against Galatasaray in Istanbul the other day. It is the main key to this series, no question about that. We have enough time to scout them and prepare for the game in Jerusalem. I am pretty sure that we will do a good job and will be ready for that game."