By Marinos Printezis/ email@example.com
After nine years as a player of Panathinaikos Mike Batiste will face his old team for the first time in his career as an opponent. Not an easy thing to do, but Mike and Fenerbahce/ Ulker are ready: “Panathinaikos is a place that I had a lot of success, joy and happiness and a lot of friends. Its going to be different. But once the game starts I have to do what’s best for my team and that’s to try and win. I’m really happy here. Its a really big club with a great organization. So far, so good”.
He came to Greece as a bachelor and since then developed to a family man who feels comfortable at Istanbul: “The life is my type of speed and it’s slow. Everything is family on this side of town, the Asian side. Its my type of speed. I’m adjusting pretty well and my family is here now. So I’m good. After a tough practice or a tough game, I can go home, relax and spend time with them”.
So, what can Fenerbahce/ Ulker achieve? “The team is good. We are learning each other more and more everyday. Trying to get better every single day. We set high goals for ourselves this year. There’s a lot of pressure here on the club but from my experience I endure the pressure by working hard every single day, practice and play hard in every game. As long as we put our best effort on the court, we get to relieve the pressure. We build a continuity in order to be a good team. thanks also to the support of our fans”.
That doesn’t mean that anything will come easy and Batiste, a three time Euroleague champion, knows it: “I know its only the beginning. I know the road will get tougher. There’s always adversity in the season. It doesn’t matter how good or great the team is. There is always adversity during the year and when that time comes just be behind us and support us, help us get through that tough time and it will be okay”.