By Semih Tuna/ email@example.com
Eurohoops talked with Brock Motum about Anadolu Efes advancing to the 2019 EuroLeague Final Four, the Semifinals opponent Fenerbahce Beko and his availability ahead of the final stage of Europe’s premier competition. The 28-year-old Australian big plans to play in the Final Four, which will take place from May 17th to May 19th at Vitoria-Gasteiz.
–Anadolu Efes will return to the Final Four after 19 years. First of all congratulations. Your feelings?
“I feel tremendous. I’m very happy to be part of this team. We had a wonderful regular season and we advanced to the Final Four through the Playoffs. It’s great for the club and for us players to take this next step and be part of the Final Four.”
– Did you have a moment in the season when you thought we can make it to the Final Four?
“That was our goal from the beginning of the season. I believe every team sets this goal. However, beating strong sides made us feel we have a special team. We weren’t only competing or defeating them, we were one of them.”
-When asked to sum up the Final Four berth in one sentence, Ergin Ataman replied that Anadolu Efes’ soul is back. How would you describe this soul?
“The fans throughout the season. This campaign was definitely much harder. The fans were behind us all the way and gave us that extra motive. I believe chemistry within the team was important as well. We benefit from our great players in the locker room and on the court.”
-You have already faced Fenerbahce Beko six teams this year. Can you point out its strengths and weaknesses?
“Fenerbahce is a great team that plays smart and robust both in defense and offense. It’s going to a tough game. We are 3-3 so far. This will be a very big game for both teams, the biggest match of the Final Four.”
-What do you think you need to stop Fenerbahce?
“Contain Kostas Sloukas. He’s the mastermind of the team. He controls the game. He pushes the team forward whenever he’s on the court. It’s important to control him, but Fenerbahce has weapons in every position. We need to focus on everyone, but I believe Sloukas is a very dangerous player.”
-We rarely see Fenerbahce beaten by the same team three times in one season. What makes your side so good against them? Do you think the Final Four Semifinal will be different?
“I don’t believe it will be different. I think it will be a very intense match. The two sides are from Istanbul and know each because of our previous matchups, but like I said I think it will be a high-level contest.”
-Fans help your team, but Anadolu Efes supporters aren’t expected to be the majority of the Vitoria-Gasteiz crowd. Will this affect Efes?
“No. I believe playing basketball in a great atmosphere is positive whether the fans are on you side or against you. It’s a great atmosphere to play when 15 or 16 thousand people are shouting. You play with all your strength just because of the people out there. I don’t think this will affect us negatively. We will be grateful for any Anadolu Efes supporter there.”
-The other three teams of the Final Four have vast experience in this stage. How will Anadolu Efes overcome this disadvantage?
“I believe we have great guards, players that have played in Euroleague for many years. Even if we aren’t experienced in the Final Four, we are massively experienced in the EuroLeague and in big games. Our experience will help us.”
-Last question. How is your health?
“I’m better. I hope to play this weekend in the Turkish Super Ligi and hope to be back at 100% before the Final Four. It was difficult to miss the Playoffs and watch the team as a spectator. I now feel good and plan to participate in the Final Four.”