Pedro Martinez: We won with heart, not our performance

Baskonia coach Pedro Martinez was pleased with the morale-boosting win over fellow Liga Endesa side Unicaja Malaga in the EuroLeague, but claims that the side did not play a great game.

Martinez’s men secured an 88-82 victory in Vitoria, a much-needed boost, especially following last week’s loss at home to Fenerbahce. The playcaller praised Baskonia’s heart, which he believed was the major factor, rather than the performance itself.

Pedro Martinez following Unicaja Malaga win:

I believe that we had a great start of the game, but we were not able to keep the rhythm. We ended up winning it through a lot of suffering, especially in the second half, in which it was hard for us to be fresh enough to move the ball. In fact, every time we moved the ball well, I would say we got an advantage, but other times we were not able to find those connections. Heart allowed us to win the game, more than tactics. I don’t think we played a great game. We have to improve our consistency on defense and share the ball better. I am very happy for the character my team showed; when Unicaja took a 4-point lead, you need to play with the right mentality to avoid being taken out of the game. Like I said before, we need all of our players in a good version… We cannot think that just because we did three things right. We have to try to do four and five things well – that has to be our mentality. I think my players showed very good character; at some point, the game looked difficult because of the way Unicaja was playing. I think they did better than us in the second half, but our heart allowed us to win the game. Tactics can help, but playing with heart and good spirit is almost more important, and we had it. We have to improve some things if we want to be more competitive. It will not be easy because we need to work hard and things that you do well today, you may not do them tomorrow. But playing with heart is always critical.