Darussafaka Istanbul coach David Blatt was proud of how his team remained focused as they battled back from a double-digit deficit to edge Cedevita Zagreb on home-court in their EuroCup, Group A clash on Wednesday.
The Croatian giants opened a 13-point lead in the second quarter and still had an 11-point margin mid-way through the third, but Darussafaka erased the deficit early in the fourth quarter and sealed the win at the death to remain unbeaten in Group A and leave Cedevita searching for their first win of the campaign.
“We have to be happy how we found the way to come back into the game and win it,” Blatt said.
“Obviously, Cedevita has quality, and Coach [Jure] Zdovc has always done a very, very good job coaching. So, for our young team, to fight their way back from a pretty serious deficit, says something about our team. I really want to thank the Darussafaka students that came out to the game and supported us; that really helped us.”
Playing with a format very similar to the old EuroLeague before the league format in 2016, Blatt is aware of what his side has to do in order to progress further in this season’s EuroCup, a tournament that admittedly he is not used to.
Blatt won the EuroLeague title with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2014 and followed that up by guiding the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in his first season back in 2016.
“In a group of six teams and only 10 games, each win is very important,” Blatt explains. “Home, away or any way. We are not good enough yet to really start thinking about point-differential and things like that, we just have to try to get as many wins as we can get. That’s the most important thing right now in this competition.
“It is a good win for our guys, we can be happy with it.”