By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
After two Basketball Champions League campaigns as a member of Turk Telekom, Kyle Wiltjer joined the competition lasting original Lenovo Tenerife during the offseason. He has generated 12.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest helping the Spanish outfit move from the Regular Season to the Play-In round, and from there starting the Round of 16 with three wins in a row.
“Karsiyaka is a spectacular team,” he told Josh Bett and Igor Curkovic as the guest of the 15th episode of the Trash Talk podcast about last year’s runner up and Play-In opponent for Tenerife, “I am very familiar with them because I played in Turkey that last two seasons. As soon as we had to play against them, I wasn’t too excited. I got to give our team a lot of credit because they were a very tough opponent to get through. Because we got through them, it kind of gives us the confidence that we can beat anyone. We kind of used that momentum going into the next series and now we are looking at our best.”
At the team based in San Cristobal de La Laguna, he has been playing under experienced tactician Txus Vidorreta.
“It has been amazing,” he replied to a question on the Tenerife head coach, “In the Spanish League, the team does very well, and in the Champions League. The consistency there is just incredible. For me playing under that system, is great. It makes my job easy. I don’t have to think too much. I just go out there and listen to the coaches.”
The inaugural BCL champion potentially going all the way for the second time would secure Wiltjer his first title since the 2012 NCAA championship with Kentucky. His Turk Telekom runs ended at the Final Eight and Round of 16 stages.
“It is a huge goal of mine,” he said about lifting the Champions League trophy, “If you just take it one day at a time, anything is realistic. There is a lot of championship DNA in this team. Who knows if we will be lucky enough to win a trophy? We are going to do everything we can to achieve that in any competition.”
On the top of the episode, host Josh Bett along with analyst Diccon Lloyd-Smeath reviewed the most recent Round of 16 games focusing on the accomplishments of Hapoel U-NET Holon, JDA Dijon, and Prometey.
Watch the full episode:
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League