10.04.2003
It was basketball ecstasy, said PBC CSKA general manager Sergei Kushchenko, who joined the head coaches at the post-game press conference after the Efes Pilsen game...
Interview
Sergei Kushchenko: It was basketball ecstasy
It was basketball ecstasy, said PBC CSKA general manager Sergei Kushchenko, who joined the head coaches at the post-game press conference after the Efes Pilsen game.

Sergei Kushchenko, general manager, PBC CSKA:
- For the first time I saw a crowd that came to USC CSKA for basketball ecstasy. I think that this word is very fitting for tonight-s thriller. Maybe the decision regarding the noisemakers made things a bit artificial, but when we played against UNIKS, about 100 fans from Kazan out-cheered all of ours. It was an atmosphere like that in Turkey. Maybe for our honorable VIP guests it was too loud, but on the other hand everyone in the building felt every movement. What took place on the floor tonight was carried over into the stands. The arena was breathing basketball. For the first time I felt that kind of tension between the fans and the playing floor. It really helps the players. I couldn-t hold my emotions inside, but I was still able to watch others. It was nice to see respectable men in ties who were yelling uncensored words, waving scarves and not parting with their noisemakers. These people felt the pleasure that comes from regularly going to basketball games. And I think that the 5,000-plus fans sitting in the stands v and in the stairways v need a bigger arena. But on the other hand, we don-t have a lot of basketball like that. Three to five games per season.

And in Perm there wasn-t that kind of ecstasy among the fans?

- There people went to basketball even without the ecstasy. Here, fans are strictly basketball fans. And they come exclusively to get results. There-s just not room for people who just want to relax. They are basketball fans
who know the game, who understand it. When there-s 10,000 fans in the stadium, then we have to work on letting the other 5,000 sit back, eat popcorn, cheer, whistle and let the kids play in the children-s room. That is our future.

And when will it be realized?

- We need results. Winning is essential so that fans won-t come only to the most important and interesting games, but rather fill the stands regularly. And then we will go to investors and say that we have a 100 percent increase
in fans and that a 5,000-seat arena is already too small. We need to build a new and modern one.

Otkai Mahmun, head coach, Efes Pilsen:
I would like to congratulate CSKA on the excellent game. My team started the game well, shooting very well from the field, but unfortunately only a few players really played well. You can-t expect to win the team game relying on only a few players. We tried to do everything we could, but you have to make shots. In the end, we lost to a team that is better than we are.

Dusan Ivkovic, head coach, PBC CSKA:
As we expected, it was a very difficult game. We played a very balanced team, but maybe Efes- bench was a little short. As in the last game, Granger shot well from the perimeter. But I think that today we played our best defense of the season, controlling the game on defense for 40 minutes. I-d like to congratulate my players, who gave everything they had on the court. But our work is not done. CSKA still has a tough road game in Croatia. And I-d like to dedicate today-s victory to our general director Sergei Kushchenko.

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