Akasvayu Girona had plenty of opportunity to bask in the glory of their EuroCup Final Four defeat of Estudiantes on Friday.
A jubilant crowd of hundreds of Girona supporters mingled with the players as they departed from the Pavilion Fontejau after the game.
For Girona’s Marc Gasol, the reasons for his side’s victory were clear.
“We played our best defense of the whole year,” he said.
“Rebound the ball and defend, that is all we have to do. That is what you do in important games.”
For veteran Ariel McDonald, there were other forces behind Girona’s clinical 89-58 dismantling of Estudiantes.
“Just first of all I would like to thank God for the strength and courage he gave us today,” said McDonald in his opening statements to the press.
For McDonald, sooner or later Estudiantes 11-game winning streak would have to come to an end.
“The advantage was with us. And I said to the players when you are on an 11 game win streak there will come a moment where you have to lose. We have been up and down, all season and lost many at home, so I was thinking we would win tonight,” he said.
Another clear advantage Girona enjoyed was the home support and they were buoyed by over 5,000 fans who made their presence felt throughout the evening.
“We are on the same side, our team and the fans,” said Head Coach Svetislav Pesic.
“The home court advantage is something special. We hope we get the same support on Sunday,” added McDonald.
Pesic also echoed his player’s call for support.
“The crowd and the players both need to be ready for the final. I really call on the fans to concentrate.”