By Nikos Varlas/ email@example.com
Jonas Maciulis is 30 years old and he remains one of the most versatile and on the same time tough players in Europe. He was always a team player who can do many things on the court and will always sacrifice himself for the good of his unit.
That’s why he was chosen this summer by Real Madrid and after two very successful season in Panathinaikos – during which he won 4 domestic titles – he continues his career in one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
In his exclusive Eurohoops video interview, the Lithuanian forward was ready to answer every question with a smile – as you can see yourselves – starting from the way he accepts the challenge to fight for every minute on the court in a roster that includes a lot of quality forwards, with Rudy Fernandez being the star.
“It’s coach’s decision when to put me in the game, how to use me and I think when the coach asks some plays for me, I am using it. I know my job, I know my style by myself. I go for offensive rebounds, I go for defensive rebounds. I am able to play some defense. So these are the things I am using and I found some space in which I can be useful to this team”.
Does he agree that Real should have been more stable and effective so far in the season, because of its talent and roster?
“I think this team has a real quality in offense and defense. It’s just a matter of fact how we are going to use it and how we going to play like a team in tough moments. I think we are able to go to the final four, we are able to be in the final and then I hope this time fortune is going to be in our time, because the last two years, the fortune was in opponents’ side. I hope that in the third time won’t be like that. The problem was, not is, but was that half of the team was new. We had to know each other, to find out the best things we can give to this team and I think lately we have a good winning streak. We won like Euroleague games in a row and five Spanish league games. We are on a good path, we know each other more and I think this was a problem in the beginning of the season. The new guys had to find out their spot, we have to get to know all the guys who stayed here from last season and it wasn’t easy. They didn’t know how we played, how they can use us, what they can expect from us. I think that now after four months we know better each other and we are playing better and better every game”.
In Panathinaikos he came as a “special assignements” guy and he ended up being a key player, if not the leader, in many key wins. How did this happened?
“I signed to Panathinaikos after a big injury, after my ACL surgery, so I was a role player, nobody expected from me anything, but coach Pedoulakis had a role for me in the low post. The teammates helped me, specially Diamantidis. He is a guy how know how to pass the ball, how to use every guy on the team, every player in the best way. It was not only my effort, but the whole team effort, the coach Pedoulakis system”.
What’s his message to 3D?
“DD I miss you! We call him DD, because you know, Dimitris Diamantidis!”
Why the Lithuanian national team is a “secret” mission for every Lithuanian player?
“The national team is important! For us and specially for young players the national team is a chance to prove that you can play against all the stars in the world. Because when I was 22 years old, in Eurobasket 2007, I was a role player in Zalgiris. The coach gave me a chance and I proved that I could play with our superstars like Saras, Siskauskas and Songaila against the best guys in Europe. And of course our national team is important for national pride. It’s a chance for Lithuania to show that we are strong at least in one thing!”
Who was his best teammate?
“I had many good teammates and I can name at least ten! Diamantidis, Jasikevicius, Siskaukas. Bramos, Gist and Lasme were also great teammates. In Milano Viggiano and Petravicius. In every team you can find a good teammates on and outside the court. It’s not fair to name only one!”
Who is the player that impressed him in this season’s Euroleague?
“Ι would say I really like the way De Colo plays, from CSKA Moscow”.
Which are the four team that will play in the Final Four?
“You can’t pick four. There are 6 or maybe 7 teams that can get to the final four. For sure they are more than four. In the Top8 we will have to decide who is stronger”.