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Star Turn, Q & A: Gianluca Basile, Regal FC Barcelona
Gianluca Basile slide show
Gianluca Basile season video
Gianluca Basile profile
Since the turn of the new century, not a single Euroleague player has appeared in more games or made more three-pointers than shooting ace Gianluca Basile of Regal FC Barcelona. Now, at age 34, Basile is looking for the ultimate reward to a stellar career: his first Euroleague title. In Berlin, Basile will be making his third Final Four appearance in five years. In 2004, he reached the title game with Fortitudo Bologna, only to lose to a Maccabi team that was on a mission in front of its home fans in Tel Aviv. Two years later, in Prague, he and Barcelona couldn’t get past the semifinals as eventual champion CSKA stood in the way. The third time, they say, is the charm: if so, no player would be more deserving. Having thrilled fans across the continent throughout his career, expect Basile to be as motivated as anyone to help Barcelona achieve Euroleague glory again.
After having won almost everything else possible in your career, what would a Euroleague title mean to you now?
"Truth be told, I signed with Barcelona with this goal, to try to win the Euroleague title. I think that this is the perfect place to do it. We have not been lucky in the four seasons I have played here. We made it to the Final Four in 2006, but things did not go as we planned in Prague. We were a good team, but faced a great CSKA and were not able to make it to the final. I think that we played really well this season. We had a very good regular season, losing just one game against Montepaschi in Siena. Then, we only lost against Real Madrid once in the Top 16. We did a great job in the Quarterfinal Playoffs against Tau Ceramica, physically and psychologically speaking. Tau was the team we had the most trouble against so far - until now. We lost Game 1, but managed to recover and win the series."
Has playing and winning the longest playoff series made Barcelona more battle-tested going to Berlin?
"I think that those five games against Tau allowed us to improve our self-confidence and believe even more in ourselves. We beat a very good team, but earlier in the season we beat Panathinaikos in Athens and Maccabi in Tel Aviv. We beat Montepaschi by almost 30 points in Barcelona and even when we lost in Siena, we led for 30 minutes. We had a great season before the playoffs and beating Tau allows us to be a stronger, more confident team. We now face a very strong team in CSKA, which is ready for games like this, with players used to this kind of pressure, knowing that you cannot make mistakes in Final Four. If you make a mistake, you are out. I believe that nobody can make predictions in this Final Four. All four teams have equal chances to win the title. There are no favorites."
After losing in 2006 to CSKA, how do you feel about having a new semifinal opportunity against them in Berlin?
"I believe that life always gives you a second chance. We have to take advantage of that, keeping that in mind, but also doing what we usually do before any important game. You can win or lose, but in life you have to be yourself and do what you have to do, prepare well for games like this. If you give 100 percent and lose, you go home knowing that you gave everything you could. This is what you have to do."
Having been to three previous Final Fours, what is your philosophy about how a player should approach the event?
"It is a spectacular event where you can feel pressure everywhere knowing that everyone there can be the next Euroleague winner. At the same time, you have to get ready in the best way possible and go there knowing you have no doubt about your game. You should get there having already worked hard. If you doubt even a little bit once you are there, you are already on your way out. You have to work to arrive at the Final Four already knowing what you have to do."
Thursday, April 16, 2009
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Regal FC Barcelona
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FINAL FOUR TEAMS
REGAL FC BARCELONA
2008-09 ALL-EL TEAM, MVP
FINAL FOUR SLIDE SHOW