By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
BELGRADE – Nigel Williams-Goss left the court in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four semifinal just after 52 seconds of action and never looked back.
“Losing Nigel that early in the game was difficult,” Real Madrid head coach Pablo Laso pointed out during the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four Championship game pregame press conference Friday, “It didn’t change the gameplan that much because I think other players stepped up and covered his position. But it is true losing an important player that quick always hurts.”
After prevailing over archrival FC Barcelona despite losing Williams-Goss, Los Blancos will face Turkish outlet Anadolu Efes in the Final in Belgrade’s Stark Arena tomorrow, Saturday. The 27-year-old American guard will not be available.
“For sure, he is out tomorrow,” added Laso shifting to the Final, “The injury is even worse than just a twisted ankle. We will probably need to make tests after returning to Madrid to see for how long he will be sidelined due to the injury.”
“Sure, there are possibilities,” the Vitoria-Gasteiz-born tactician replied to a question about potentially playing Thomas Heurtel in the championship game. The French guard has been held out of action since early April. He and Trey Thompkins were “free to go” but stayed with the team.
The defending champions will be deprived of the services of Krunoslav Simon in the championship game. The Croatian swingman was ruled out of the Final Four due to a knee injury keeping him on the injury list for the past month.