By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After a short delay due to teammates storming in, Marcelinho Huertas had to share a microphone with Lenovo Tenerife play-caller Txus Vidorreta. His own fell victim to the water dumped as celebrations extended to the postgame press conference.
“This is a team sport. We worked together to have one goal and it was to win. Any of our players could have been the MVP,” said the Final Four MVP, “We did a tremendous job. We were loyal to our game plan during the whole game.”
Huertas, 38, posted a 13-point, 14-assist double-double in the championship game opposite Baxi Manresa. He became the second player to record a double-double in a Champions League Final.
“I think it is part of my job to be a reliable point guard and make others better,” he explained, “I think in modern basketball there are a lot of point guards with score-first options. I try to stay true to my game and try to play for the team and at the same time stay aggressive trying to find ways being able to score.”
Txus Vidorreta, 55, claimed the title for the second time in his career. He joined the list of two-time champions along with Joan Penarroya who led Hereda San Pablo Burgos to back-to-back championships in 2020 and 2021.
“We scored 98 points in the Final. It was an unbelievable production. The effort, the defense, setting the ball with 26 assists. This is a total team. We showed to everybody that we are a total team,” he mentioned skipping comments regarding lifting the trophy in his hometown Bilbao, “I wasn’t the star of the evening. The players were the stars of the evening.”
The 11th win in a row closing out the latest Basketball Champions League campaign for the lasting original of FIBA’s top European club competition clinched a berth in the 2023 FIBA Intercontinental Cup. Tenerife won the 2017 and 2020 editions of the international tournament.
On the losing end of the Final, the Catalonia side acknowledging defeat featured season MVP Chima Moneke and head coach Pedro Martinez.
“We played a better team tonight,” noted Moneke after the 24-point showing made him the second player to score more than 20 points in a BCL Final, “Congratulations to Tenerife. A close competitive game. That is how basketball is, sometimes you win but we lost.”
“We are a little bit frustrated because we wanted to win. We were expecting to play much better,” added Martinez, “We were good in the first half but in the third quarter we did not have good defense nor energy and they had great shooting percentages, especially in three-pointers.”
Postgame press conference:
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League