At February 7 Loko will face Uralmash in the second game of the Winline Russian Cup. In an exclusive interview to Match TV, head coach Alexander Sekulić told of his expectations.
- – It's not only about winning tomorrow, but more about outscoring the opponent by a certain number of points. Does it bring additional pressure for the team? Or maybe big comebacks like against CSKA and UNICS give confidence to your team?
- – I don't believe that there is a single match that we can compare with. It's a thing that we let them not just outscore us, but basically beat us on their home court with a 13-point difference, which is a big difference and it's going to be a big challenge for us. Not only first of all to beat them and then to think about maybe to overcome this point difference, but this is the way the competition is and let's say we go into the game like it's a second half of the match and we are down 13.
- – Do you have such an experience before in your coaching career?
- – Of course I have. Mainly it was that we were up and then we are defending this, but also situations that we are down. We have to come back, we play against a good team and it's not going to be easy, but if you want to overcome this point difference, you shouldn't think about results, you should think about your game, the way you must play and to go step by step.
- – What did you learn after the loss in the first game?
- – There's a lot of things we learned as a team, but the most important thing is that there is not a single game that we can take easily, without going full throttle. We must be focused from the beginning, determined and filled up with lots of energy.
- – What are the main strengths of Uralmash?
- – I think their main strength is that they play together, they play as a team. They have two great Americans on the point guard, Stanley Whittaker and Octavius Ellis. They are a really good combination together, they showed this in the first game, not only in our game, but also in previous games. They have quite experienced players, Russian players, who know how to play this kind of games, who know how to hustle, who know how to lead the game. I think their main strength is that they play together, so this is going to be a big challenge for us.
- – What should Loko do to win this game?
- – Like I said before, we have to worry about our game, think about what we can do better, to improve the mistakes from the first game. But not only that, we need to play much better basketball, to play together, to share the ball, to make sure that everybody gets involved, and to do things that we do every day in the practice. We want to be aggressive on offensive rebounds, aggressive on running to fast breaks, these things, and of course playing together.
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