Another 7DAYS EuroCup season has started, and with big hunger on our part, because last season finished too early for Unicaja. I mean reeeaaaaaalllllly too early! After the first win in the EuroCup Quarterfinals against ALBA Berlin, and heading back home with a 1-0 advantage, we were pretty motivated to finish it in Malaga. Unfortunately, we couldn't finish the series at home and were headed back to Berlin with a 1-1 balance. We were winning almost all of Game 3, but suddenly everything stopped for us! We couldn't make a shot, couldn't defend well, and we lost 2-1. We were very disappointed. That's why this season is so special. We are angry and hungry to achieve something bigger and better.
I don't remember when I had a game exactly on my birthday
We have started the EuroCup this time with a 3-0 record. Our last and most difficult game so far was against Galatasaray. They have a very physical team, and we suffered a long time in the game but at the end we were able to get an important win. And a special win for me because… IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY! Maaaannn… I don't remember when I had a game exactly on my birthday, and a home game as well! It was a great feeling to have that opportunity to celebrate the win and my birthday with the team and, of course, with my family before and after the game. This day was something special. I turned 30 and for sure I will remember it for a loooooooong time.
But talking about the start of the season little bit... We had a tough home game against Buducnost, a Euroleague team last season, in Round 1, but we were able to win it. Then we made our first trip to our home – I mean my home, haha – to Poland, to play Asseco Arka Gdynia! Can you imagine that Gdynia Arena is just 15 minutes away from my house in Poland? How crazy is that? It was an amazing feeling. Almost 50 people came to support me and our team, wearing green Unicaja shirts and cheering for us. It was a special feeling when I was on the court and was given a warm welcome by the players and fans of Asseco Arka Gdynia. It was an honor to play again on Polish soil in a club competition like the EuroCup. I'm really glad that a Polish team is playing in this league. We – as a country – need to improve, and to do that, the clubs need to take that step towards the European competitions.
It was an honor to play again on Polish soil in a club competition like the EuroCup.
It was also amazing to get back to Poland shortly after the World Cup in China, and to feel a little bit of that excitement in our country. Those were special moments in Polish basketball history, playing the World Cup for the first time in 52 years! Being in the top 32 teams of the world was something amazing. But being the Polish national team finishing in the top eight was a mindblower! It took great effort, will and energy, as well as faith from all the team, coaches, staff members, the president of the federation and the fans. Everyone inside the team was very focused on the main goal, which was advancing through the two group stages. And we did it! No superstars, no pressure, just playing our best basketball. We had not succeeded for so many years, but now we took our moment and we delivered.
About the tourism in China, we were in Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing, we were in the second-tallest building in the world, almost on top of it – the 115th floor! I realized how small the world is and how tiny we are in all the things we do. But many times these small things matter the most and each one of us needs to be humble and do what we are supposed to do. The same goes for the basketball court: small things matter the most and we need to take care of them.
See you next time, basketball fans. Happy to be with you one more year!