Scottie Wilbekin says that “every game matters except the third-place game”

2024-05-26T19:25:13+00:00 2024-05-26T19:25:13+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

26/May/24 19:25

Fenerbahce’s guard spoke in the mixed zone after the loss to Olympiacos in the EuroLeague third-place game

By Cesare Milanti /

BERLIN, Germany – Scottie Wilbekin was excited to play in his first Final Four with Fenerbahce on the eve of the clash in the semifinals against Panathinaikos. His dad was coming to Berlin to watch him play, and he finally achieved a goal that seemed impossible in certain moments of his career.

However, things were completely different after the loss to the green-and-white team, as he took responsibility after ending with a poor -9 of PIR against Ergin Ataman’s powerhouse.

After losing in the third-place game against Olympiacos, he stopped by in the mixed zone. “It’s a good season, could have been better”, he said quickly summarizing the takeaways after this year’s Final Four. “Too many turnovers in the first game”, he said when asked about what he could have changed.

“This game didn’t matter”, he explained immediately later on. Following his head coach Sarunas Jasikevicius and his teammate Nigel Hayes-Davis, he’s another strong voice in the battle to eliminate or at least change the format, avoiding the third-place game in the Final Four.

Asked what else could replace this game, he couldn’t give an exact and specific answer. “I mean, anything. It’s my first time, it seemed like a pointless game in the EuroLeague”, he said before criticizing what stands behind this competition. “The whole motto of the EuroLeague is “Every game matters”, right? Every game matters except the third-place game. It doesn’t make sense”, he added.

What’s the future for Fenerbahce?

Despite ending at the bottom at the end of the event in Berlin, he stays optimistic for the future. “We’ll see what happens in the offseason with the guys who don’t have an extra year. But yeah, hopefully, we can build on this and be back next year to see what happens”, he wishes.

Getting to the Final Four after changing the coach mid-season and overcoming several obstacles, the goal was achieved by the yellow-and-blue powerhouse. “I would rate it pretty high”, he answered when asked about picking a grade for this season for Fenerbahce.

“The only thing we didn’t achieve was winning the championship. Our goal is to get to the Final Four and there were times it didn’t seem like we would get there. Maybe even the playoffs were questionable. But we made a run at the end and we made it happen”, Scottie Wilbekin commented.

“Only four teams make it to the Final Four, it’s a huge achievement. I hope our fans would be proud of us we at least did that.  Last year we were one game away, this year we made it. Hopefully next year we will be in the championship [game]”, he crossed his fingers for the 2025 EuroLeague Final Four.

Finally, he took the time to share his love for this club, where he has been playing for two years now. “Fenerbahce is my team, that’s what it means to me”, he said. He doesn’t see himself elsewhere. “I have one more year, that’s not up to me. I like it here, I love it here”, Scottie Wilbekin added.

“Yeah, of course”, he finally stated when asked if he would like to stay.

PHOTO CREDIT: Turkish Airlines EuroLeague

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