The intensity and passion that characterizes the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague this week spilled over into the post-game discussions, as well. Here is some of the best of what this week's protagonists, both winners and losers, had to say following their games.
Unbeaten and getting better
"This is a new team, new year. We're going to have our ups and downs... As long as we can keep getting better, and you can see we are, that's all we can ask for."
Last year's Final Four MVP is now a team leader at CSKA Moscow, and after the champs improved to a 3-0 start by beating cross-town rival Khimki Moscow Region, Will Clyburn reminded the rest of the EuroLeague that his team will get better, too.
"I want to thank the fans for filling the gym... We need them here to give us an extra push for every game. And I'm very happy to give our president the win as a birthday present."
Coming back home after losing the first two games on the road and being welcomed by a sellout crowd on the 80th birthday of long-time team president Shimon Mizrahi gave Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv plenty of motivation. But as head coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos said afterwards, Maccabi needed its supporters even more once the game with Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade went to overtime.
""Coach told us to just pay attention to details, come out and fight, and this is what we just did... That is what Zalgiris basketball is about: playing hard and fighting. It took us two games to learn that."
After two games with a total PIR of 4, Zalgiris center Zach LeDay reminded everyone why he was one of the EuroLeague's best newcomers last season. LeDay posted 26 points, 9 rebounds and a 35 PIR to hand visiting Real Madrid its first loss of the season and just its second this century in Kaunas.
Back on track
"I feel great, not about what I did on the court, but about what the team did. It is tough to start the season with two losses, but we came back home and with the support of our fans we got this one."
Another team not used to losing twice to start a season, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, used its home court as a balm, but had the added bonus of the best night of Nando De Colo's career.
""We are still a very new team and we still haven't scratched the surface of what we are going to be, so it is good for us to have this start."
Through two solid road wins, reigning champ Cory Higgins wasn't needed much by his new team, FC Barcelona. He missed on game and shot 1 for 9 in the other. When Barcelona faced trouble for the first time, however, down 21-30 at home to ALBA Berlin on Friday, Higgins entered and everything changed. He finished with 22 points in less than 20 minutes on the floor and Barca won 103-84. And he said after that we ain't seen nothing yet.