Credit: BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit BasketNews/D.Repečka

Zalgiris Kaunas suffered their eighth loss in a row, recording the worst start in the club’s history. After the game, Jure Zdovc admitted that the situation is far away from the best.

Player of the Game
Luke  Sikma
Luke Sikma
Points 10
Accuracy 4-5
Rebounds 6
Assists 4

“Congratulations to ALBA, they were a better team. We tried, but definitely, we are not on the level to beat this team,” Zdovc said. “They play many years together, they brought back some players from injuries, we lost Jankunas, but what can we do?”

“We didn’t have enough quality tonight, we missed easy shots. We came back, but we needed to capitalize on good defense, and we didn’t do that. They made baskets. We worked all week, but they were more aggressive. In the end, ALBA were a better team tonight”, Zdovc continued.

– You mentioned players missing easy shots. Do you think they lack confidence?
– Feels like it. We had a lot of pressure before this game, everyone knew we should win this game. Maybe we lack confidence, I don’t know. Luck turned its back to us. I still believe in this team, and we work hard. I see some good things, and we must keep going, there’s no other way.

– You came to a difficult situation. Did you expect it to be that difficult?
– I didn’t think a lot about it. Since my arrival, we had bad luck with injury, tough schedule. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter because no one cares who’s injured. Zalgiris is 0-8, and it is really bad. It’s frustrating, but I believe in work, and I will try to find the space for new players.

– You mentioned players not being on the right level. Can they reach that level?
– For sure, I hope so. It’s difficult to change players’ characters, especially when we don’t have a lot of time. I’ll try to assist and help them, there’s no other option. 

– How shocked were you at the beginning of the game? The whole Zalgiris team had only 2 PIR.
– There are no rules. We started great against Bayern, but we still lost. We missed easy buckets, open shots, or we didn’t shoot when we were open. We have experienced players or players who are the first time in the EuroLeague.

Marek is fighting, but referees don’t respect him. Josh is also naïve in this competition. Tyler was good tonight and recently, but it’s not enough. We miss some players who don’t give what we expect, and this is on us to find a way to put them in the right position. 

– What do you think about Zoran Dragic’s debut?
– It was tough for him. In practice, you’re more relaxed even if you don’t know the system, but in the game, it’s a different story. You could see that he didn’t know the system and immediately we had problems.

If we didn’t execute the system correctly, ALBA were punishing us for that. We had a lot of turnovers. Too many.

 Zalgiris shot only 4 free throws. Is it a lack of aggression?
– We talked about this in the locker room. This team is not built to be aggressive if you look at the characteristics of the players. One of the reasons why we have problems with the fouls is because we don’t play aggressive defense.

When we make contact, referees call fouls. Some of the calls were strange, but what can you do.

From my experience, in the last 5 games, referees let you fight if you play strong. But our players are softer, fancier. They told me that they scored 20 points in isolation. We’re slow laterally, it’s not a secret, but we must help each other in team defense.

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Berlyno ALBA
Kauno Žalgiris
Field goals

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7/12 FG
1/1 FT
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4/10 FG
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Zalgiris Kaunas
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Luke  Sikma
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