ALBA Berlin big man Oscar Da Silva spoke with TalkBasket.net after his team’s 92-84 home win over Monaco in EuroLeague Round 17.
The German power forward/center opened up about a variety of topics. From his debut season in the EuroLeague, the differences between collegiate and professional basketball, ALBA Berlin’s performance in the season and the possibility of playing for Germany in the 2022 EuroBasket in September.
Oscar Da Silva has appeared in 16 EuroLeague games, averaging 10.6 points (on 65.7% shooting) and 3.4 rebounds. For its part, ALBA Berlin is at 6-11 after the end of the first part of the season.
This season marks your debut in top-tier club competition and you have been one of the best ALBA Berlin players so far. How do you rate your performance in that first part of the season?
I’m really excited about how quickly the team integrated me and how quickly I was able to find my rhythm on the court. Considering how quickly I had to figure out the new surroundings in terms of basketball, but also off the court, I’m obviously very happy with the transition.
Playing at such a high level for the first time in your career, what challenges have you faced? How have you managed to adapt to this new environment?
The level of physicality and basketball savvy that players have at this level is exceptional. I have a lot to learn, but I know I belong at this level and I draw confidence from the success I’m having.
What differences have you noticed between NCAA Basketball, where you played for four years at Stanford, and the EuroLeague? Do you believe the playing style is the same in both leagues?
The level of basketball in both leagues is pretty different, just because the players are so much better at the pro level. So you have to make decisions a lot faster, think the game better and also adjust to the physicality. In college, I feel like basketball talent has a lot more influence on the game than at the pros.
ALBA has a 6-11 record so far, with some tough losses in crunch time that have cost the team a spot within the playoff zone. With several games remaining and the eighth place just three wins away, what changes do you think the team should make to turn things around?
We just secured a win against a good Monaco team and I think we’ve put together some really good games so far this season. Our biggest challenge is consistency and we’ve had some bad luck with injuries. But, if we can play at or close to our best with high consistency, I think we can still win a lot of games this season.
And one final question: You have already played for Germany’s U-18 and U-19 teams. With EuroBasket 2022 a few months away, do you think you could have a spot in the final (or at least the preliminary) roster of Germany for the tournament?
I’m not really too concerned with that topic at this time. But, I’ve been in touch with coach Herbert and told him that I would like to play for the national team at some point. The big positions are very talented for us right now, but hopefully I can dress up for Team Germany sooner or later.