Reigning Ukrainian champion BC Donetsk and newly acquired point guard Doron Perkins of Anchorage will head to Italy this week in the first step of qualifying for the Euroleague.
For Perkins, this is why he signed, to get back to the most prestigious league in Europe.
It was only two seasons ago that Perkins was on the cusp of stardom with Israeli power Maccabi Tel Aviv before he hurt his knee in the playoffs. Tel Aviv marched all the way to the championship game but eventually lost.
Now, Perkins is making the push with BC Donetsk.
“We are doing all we can to be a good team together, to play well together,” Perkins told euroleague.net. “We know we won’t have a lot of preparation. That’s why we need to focus on our game, to be the best team we can be right now.”
Here is more from that interview:
To reach the Euroleague via the qualifying rounds, Donetsk will need to win three games in as many days. Is that something that you keep in the back of your mind going into the game against Le Mans?
“Yes, we think about that, but we haven’t focused too much on the Euroleague Qualifying Rounds. We can’t control that; we don’t know who we will face other than Le Mans. Even if we win the first game, we won’t know about our next day opponent until we are done with that. Once we get to Desio, we will focus on Le Mans, prepare for them and if we move to the next game, we know we won’t have a lot of preparation. That’s why we need to focus on our game, to be the best team we can be right now.”
How are you and the rest of the Donetsk players dealing with the pressure of a win-or-go-home game so early in the season?
“I don’t think there is any pressure. I know this is a great chance for us to play in the Euroleague and this is what everybody wants to achieve, but not playing it is not the end of the world. We still play in the Eurocup, plus we have to play in the VTB League and the Ukrainian League. We have to play hard and see what happens. I don’t really think we have a lot of pressure and that might help us out.”
What can you tell us about your new team, BC Donetsk?
“We have a good team. It is hard to say because we have only been practicing together as a full team for a couple of weeks. I can say we are doing all we can to be a good team together, to play well together.”
How has the preparation period been? Which Donetsk players have surprised you the most so far?
“The preparation has been pretty hard. We have worked very hard. Coach has been focusing on our physical conditioning. Nobody has really impressed me much because we still have a long season ahead of us to become better. It is hard to say until we start playing. We had some pre-season games, but it is early to say. We will see what happens.”