| After playing for three teams in as many countries in three seasons, Tau Ceramica forward Simas Jasaitis has picked up quite a following, which can be seen from the questions posed to him from fans across Europe before the Final Four. In his first season with Tau Ceramica, Jasaitis has helped shoot his club into its fourth consecutive Final Four and moved his own career another step forward, as is his habit. Jasaitis was a key to Lietuvos Rytas winning the ULEB Cup in 2005, thus making his Euroleague debut possible with his hometown club the following season, then joined Maccabi Elite for a Quarterfinal Playoffs run last season. Now, in his first season at Tau, Jasaitis is in the Final Four, where no one should doubt his ability to turn a game around. In this Final Four Fan Mail, Jasaitis discussed his travels and the chance to run into his last team in the title game. "I would want to play against Maccabi in the final, first of all, because I want to be in the final, and that would mean I get there," Jasaitis said. "But that was one situation, and now I am on another team and I don't look back really. If we get to the final against Maccabi, then I would certainly want to beat them."
Hello Simas, in the semifinal your team will play agains CSKA, which beat Tau twice in the regular season. What must your team do to beat CSKA in Madrid?
Elvinas Kiminskas, Lithuania
"Of course, we will try to play better defense, unlike the two games we lost to them. The first game we lost by almost 20 points. In the second game we played much better on both ends of the floor, but we still lost. I think that in a Final Four, the defense is most important, as always, but maybe even more against such a good team like CSKA that defends well also."
Simas, You have gone from Lietuvos Rytas to Maccabi to Tau Ceramica with coach Neven Spahija. Is this a bond of friendship or it is just a coincidence?
Shilas - Lithuania
"Well, when I first left Lithuania, I went to Maccabi because they made a good offer and in my first season away from home in Europe, knowing the coach and the system and so on made it a good situation for me. I thought it was much better in my first year abroad to know the coach. In the case of Tau, however, I got the offer here first and it was the best option for me, so I chose Tau before Neven, who signed a lot after. It's not like some people have written in Lithuania that I am following him and where Neven goes, I go. It's not true. He didn't take me to the teams."
Hi,Simas! I have an impression that your game has changed since moving from Lietuvos Rytas, especially from their first Euroleague season, when you used a variety of attacking options, to Maccabi and now Tau, where you attack mainly from the perimeter. Correct me if I'm wrong. All the best and good luck at the Final Four. Best regards,
Alex - Nicosia,Cyprus
"Well, basically there is a difference between all teams, but in Maccabi I played more minutes than I do at Tau. Maccabi had one style of players, and at Tau it's a different style. Here, the smaller players have a lot of the offense in their hands, directed by them, and they attack more. But really, I think playing time is the main difference. With less minutes, you show less of what you can do normally."
Hi Simas. I'm conviced that besides basketball skills a man has to have some special aspects about his personality to reach something like a basketball career. What about your personality made you become a professional basketball player?
Laima Lipsyte, Mannheim
"I don't know. All the players at a high level have talent and something special. Sometimes their talent is a great shot, or maybe someone jumps higher. What all of them have to have is a good work ethic, the ability to do the best to bring whatever is special out of them. You're right: everything is not talent. A lot of it is practice to find that talent."
Simas. You have been in similar games before, like the ULEB Cup Final, and played well, like an MVP in my opinion. Does that give you confidence for the Final Four?
Raul Arenas - Valladolid, Spain
"Of course it does some. I was in the ULEB Cup Final just like I was in a lot of big finals in the Lithuanian League between Lietuvos Rytas and Zalgiris. For me, the Final Four will be new because its the first time for me, but I will do what is best. I think I have confidence. I don't get worried or nervous about the Final Four. I just always want to go on court and win everything I can."
Simas, in the semifinal you will face an old teammate you know well from playing for Lithuania, too: Ramunas Siskauskas. Do you know anything special about how to stop him?
Aitor Goigoichea - Spain
"Well, it's true that I talked a little bit about this with our coach, who asked me what I knew. But I cannot give you the same answer I gave him. Of course, the bottom line is we will try our best to stop him and all the other CSKA players, as well. Because we know each other better, I will try to help my team stop him if I get the chance."
Hello, Simas. Will it be strange for you and for Neven if you have to face Maccabi in the final?
Danny Eilat - Tel Aviv, Israel
"I would want to play against Maccabi in the final, first of all, because I want to be in the final, and that would mean I get there. But that was one situation, and now I am on another team and I don't look back really. If we get to the final against Maccabi, then I would certainly want to beat them, of course."
Simas... What do you remember about the ULEB Cup title game you won with Lietuvos Rytas in 2005 against Makedonikos and your teammate now, Pete Mickeal?
Antanas - Vilnius, Lithuania
"One thing I remember is that Pete was the best player on his team. When we were in Vilnius earlier this season, there were pictures on the walls of the hotel with pictures of Lietuvos Rytas winning trophies, including the ULEB Cup. There were pictures of mine, too, from the finals. Pete was asking about them, but I didn't remember so much, and otherwise he and I haven't talked so much about that game. I remember him most because I had to play defense against him, and he was their best player. But we won. It was great, but it seems that happened a long time ago."
How did you decide to play basketball when you were a boy?
Drago Kavcic - Slovenia
"Before basketball I tried other sports: I remember trying soccer and then dancing for awhile and after that ping-pong. The, one day in the newspaper they advertised for boys to try to come to the basketball school. My father took me there and I tried out with some tests. I was good on the tests and I started playing, going little by little, and here I am today."