By Alex Madrid / firstname.lastname@example.org
A few days before Real Madrid faces CSKA Moscow in the second semifinal of the 2019 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four (May 17, 21:00 CET), Eurohoops chatted with the reigning champions’ guard Facu Campazzo.
The 28-year-old Argentinean seems to be at the best moment of his career, being a pillar for Real Madrid throughout the season and especially in the playoffs sweep against Panathinaikos. Still, as he reveals to Eurohoops, he is not “obsessed” with the NBA as he used to be in the past, even though he is in the radar of many scouts.
Eurohoops: First of all, thank you for being with Eurohoops. What a month of April, right? MVP of the month in the ACB League, MVP of the month in the EuroLeague, you qualify for the Final Four. Now it’s time for your third championship in your third Final Four.
Facu Campazzo: Hopefully. The truth is that I wanted to have a month like that. I dropped my level in January, February. I wasn’t playing well and couldn’t play my style. In April I was able to raise a little, I started to get confidence. I think the team helped me a lot in that sense, the coaching staff gave me that confidence too. I played much quieter. Above all things, we were able to win, we could qualify for the Final Four, which is extremely important. The Euroleague and League MVP awards are an accident of what happened. It is something secondary. We reached a very difficult goal qualifying for the Final Four after such a long season.
EH: Especially, because the playoffs start very rugged. Sergi gets injured, you remain as the only pure point guard available for Pablo Laso, Panathinaikos comes after a very good run and everyone talks about how dangerous Calathes is. Do you face it almost as something personal?
FC: No, no. If I took it personally, I was going to lose. Although Calathes was the player to defend, we knew that Panathinaikos went beyond Calathes. When he plays well the team plays very well, but they had backcourt danger and a very important frontcourt danger that we had to take into account. We scouted them in the best way and I think we understood that message from Pablo at the time of playing. We understood it very well and we applied very well what we had been training.
EH: These playoffs consecrated you as one of the best point guards in Europe but when you arrived in 2014, you barely had minutes. For what you felt during training, when you played… did you think you could reach this level of game?
FC: No. But I didn’t think about it either. I was just thinking about playing basketball, I’m happy inside a court. I consider that a player progresses when he has minutes. The first year I had a low average of minutes and it wasn’t what I was used to in Argentina. I wanted to play, I wanted to feel responsible, with pressure. I had two years in Murcia earning that confidence and showing that I can be at the level of the league. I also got to know the European competition, the EuroCup in this case. I returned to Madrid being a much better player