baskonia’s toko shengelia credits coach for season turnaround

10:20    05 Apr 2018

Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz forward Toko Shengelia has credited coach Pedro Martinez for the team’s turnaround in the 2017/18 EuroLeague season.

Baskonia have become the first team to qualify for the playoffs after suffering four straight losses at the start of the campaign.

In March they became the first team to win six EuroLeague matches, with Shengelia named the month’s MVP.

"Of course, especially this year it was tough for us. Especially in the beginning after losing so many games in a row, and our schedule was not that easy either,” Shengelia told the EuroLeague’s official website.

“Not a lot of people believed that we would make it to the playoffs, but we fought for it and never gave up, and we are one of the top eight teams in the EuroLeague, which is great for us, for the city and our fans.

He added, "Our coach did an amazing job for us. He changed our mindset and there is no need to explain that Pedro [Martinez] had a big influence on what happened to this team.

“As for us, the players, we started to enjoy a lot more, every offensive possession, every defensive possession. We started to enjoy a lot and you can tell by watching our games.

“Every win we got gave us more positivity in the locker room and on the court, and this is why we started getting the results that we got."

The 26-year-old Georgian added that Baskonia must not allow their winning streak to affect their focus heading into the playoffs.

"It is very important, but we cannot get too obsessed about it, you know?” he explained.

“We know we are the first team to win six EuroLeague games in one month, but our main focus is our game against Efes on Thursday, and right after that, we are going to find out who our playoff opponent is going to be and prepare in the best way possible and compete.

“We know we are not going to have the home-court advantage against them, but we will fight to win at least once on the road and keep being strong in Vitoria."

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