At 38 years old, the player Taru Tuukkanen
Hyvinkään Ponteva team (hypo) led by Tero Niskanen, continues to dominate and marking a style of play in Finland.
Taru averaging 17.1 points and 13.4 rebounds per game getting a rating of +25 is making one of his best season. In addition, the pivot has managed to be the best player in assists and double-doubles; the second best rebounder and third most valuable player in the competition.
Moreover, both Dionne Pounds
with 17.7 points per game as Heta Korpivaara
with 21.3 points, Topo team (third place) and Alex Anderson
17.4 Catz team (leader of the regular season), are also some of the most important players in this league.
We spoke with Taru Tuukkanen before the
start of the playoffs.
After the regular phase of
Korisliiga, you have achieved a balance that I placed fifth in opting to fight
for the playoffs. How summarize all positive and negative aspects of the
I think the position we have achieved have
earned through hard work. It is a very good and
well deserved position.
Equipment herein may have up to three
American, it is most have them. Others only have one or two, however we do not
have any. Besides me, the rest of the team is made up of very young and
inexperienced players in the league.
The positive side is that, despite that we
have succeeded in winning some of the top teams in the table. The downside is
that we have not been able to finish in the final minutes some games that we
had won and controlled from the beginning.
This week will start the playoffs. Unlike
Spain, where four teams qualify and play the best of three matches in Finland
eight teams are ranked and play the best of five. Could you explain a little as
is the classification system as designated crossings?
The top eight teams in the regular season
are playing the playoffs.
First phase of the first round clash
against ranked eighth, the second against the seventh and so on is played. This
implies that the playoffs last much more in Finland than in Spain because there
in four games determines the champion.
The of classification, eight and ten teams
in order to achieve the playoffs may seem easier compared to other leagues
since only two teams in the regular season left out, do you think this is? O
but do you think the league is more complicated and competitive and fight for
the playoffs is as difficult as in other competitions?
Clearly in Finland is much easier to
qualify for the playoffs because as you have mentioned only two of the ten
teams that form the regular season left out.
Still, the competition each year is harder
and usually very even so, it is not known which teams will eventually occupy
positions outside or the other components. This makes the crosses are not
commonly known until the last days.
Your crossings will play off against the
fourth-ranked league, Peli-Karhut. Of the three games that you have played with
them you have won two (79-74; 66-70) and lost one (72-75), always with very
close results, how do you face that Karhut be your opponent in play off knowing
that no you have the home court and you lost there?
Face meetings very positive and confident
but above all with respect.
Karhut is the team with the best guard in
the league, Reeta piipari and three of the best American in here.
We know our possibilities and our choices.
Just look at the results. Therefore, we will try to win and get us into
semifinals. Everything else will.
Finally, we can add that it's been a
magical season collectively. Besides, being individually being also a very
important year since you've managed to be the best player in assists and dobledobles,
second in rebounding and third in valuation. After these numbers, what do
personal assessment of this season so far? Do you see the team and you are
likely to get to win the playoffs?
I make a very positive assessment. I am
very proud to be the player who has achieved the best record in the league and
also gives you more assists. I've always loved baseman
Before starting the league my goal has
always focused on making my companions would improve and help me improve me
too. Read the game and know how to find the best pass at the right time is what
I like at this point in my career.
Moreover, even as I have been the most
minutes has played in the league and I could play every game. This to me is
very rewarding. I have been able to return to live basketball as I've been
doing every season of my career.
I see my team in a very good point
collectively. We really want to compete the playoffs.
If we can move on to semifinals we would
face Catz, which would be a big challenge for us. Catz has won the last three
leagues and has not lost at home since 2011 if I remember correctly. It will be
a very difficult game to face though, keep in mind that all games in which we
have faced have competed and we have shown that we can win. We lost twice
against them and the result has been only difference of six.
It would be an achievement for us and we will try. First we'll go for
Kurht and if we, go to death by Catz.