By Sergei Tsimmerman
Several rounds before the end of the regular season in Russia it looked like Spartak Saint-Petersburg had all the chances to stay in the Top 8 and take the last ticket to play-offs. But the men of Algirdas Brazys lost two key road games against CSK-VVS and EURAS. Later, when nothing depended on Spartak itself, their main contender Ural-Great Perm beat EURAS and UNICS. As a result, Perm collected the necessary amount of victories and took the 8th place from Spartak due to better result in head-to-head matches. Usually calm and equable character Spartak?s head-coach Algirdas Brazys this time spoke about the ?underwater games? in Russian basketball.
- Of course, on the one hand we?re guilty ourselves because we lost in Samara and Ekateringburg. But on the other, and this is the saddest one, things, which I was warned about before going to work here, in Russia, became true. I felt it especially at the end of the season, when strange things started to happen in the championship. You could even call it miracles. And even if till the last moments me and my team had the same goal ? the Top 8, everybody kept telling me: ?Dreamer, you don?t know where you came. You won?t be let to the play-offs anyway?. I didn?t believe it. And now I understand I was really a little bit of a dreamer. Moreover, now I have to admit ? for us, the real, fair basketball ended one-and-a-half month before the end of the regular season.? - Algirdas Brazys started the conversation.
- What do You mean?
- I mean that from that moment other, different games started. No, Spartak played as it used to, we tried. But the deal was interfered by other forces, which were doing everything not to let us into the Top 8. I think such things do not help for the reputation of all Russian basketball.
- More concrete, what are those ?things??
- I don?t want to talk about this much ? my work is to coach. Here?s one simple example. The 3rd team in the regular season UNICS loses by 30 points to our main opponent ? Ural-Great, which is 9th at that moment! This fact doesn?t honour the Kazan team too. I understand, everything can happen and any team can lose, but not like that!
- Lets ask the question in a different way: did you really believe in the dignity of EURAS and UNICS, which had Spartak?s future in their hands?
- I did! Actually, even now I still hope that EURAS in their match against Ural-Great they played with all of their strength. And it?s already another question why they couldn?t win. While speaking about the match UNICS-Ural-Great, want it or not, you come to a conclusion that the result was already known before.
- With such thoughts, it probably isn?t easy to continue in Spartak?
- I know it perfectly, that my words won?t make any revolutions in Russian basketball. I just came here to work, and I like to work in Spartak very much. With exception those things which were discussed earlier. Plus some moments, connected with refereeing in the Russian Championship. Just look, now, there are lots of good young guys in Russia, which can work in high level. But it would be very bad if they chose the way of some of their colleagues. Honestly, it?s Fomin, whom I simply must to except. Yes, look at it yourselves. He worked in nearly all those game, where Spartak had to be ?killed?. He was appointed for the Ural-Great ? Unics match two days before it, although as far as I know, originally, other referees had to work in Perm. On the other hand, I don?t have doubts why the same Fomin doesn?t work in Europe. And using this opportunity, I would like to wish the young referees ? if you want to increase your qualification and work in international level ? do not choose this way. Sooner or later all these things come out to the surface. For example, during this season, there were occasions, when after the game the referee came to me with his eyes dropped said: ?Sorry, Algirdas?. This means that those people still have some conscience and not all is lost for them. However, I?ll repeat myself - I didn?t come here to dig into all these things. I just would like to work normally, my team to play and show some results. In conclusion, all these things presently happening in Russian basketball are very bad for the National Team.
(Translated by Vytautas Kaminskas)
24sec.net says big thanks to www.bcspartak.ru for allowing us to publish this interview.