BC Wolves’ Christian Mekowulu recalls loss in Utena, “It will be a good test”
BC Wolves’ Christian Mekowulu recalls loss in Utena, “It will be a good test”

On Saturday, the BC Wolves intend to strengthen their hold on third place in the Betsafe-LKL regular season. The Vilnius-based team are set to meet the visiting Uniclub Casino Juventus from Utena at the Avia Solutions Group Arena.

Having notched 15 wins and 8 losses, the Lithuanian capital's team currently sit in third place in the tournament standings. The men of Utena are breathing down their necks with one less game played and are in fifth place (13-9).

Both teams are vying for a win in this match-up. If the Wolves secure the victory, they will fortify their position in the rankings. On the other hand, in case they win, the visitors would score a very important point, which will allow them to overtake the Wolves if the number of victories by the season's end is equal, due to the better ratio of matches from both clubs. The men of Vilnius took the first round (77:71), while Utena's team won in the second round (96:68).

Talking about the remainder of the season, Wolves center Christian Mekowulu had no doubts that the team had already put their dry spell behind them and is moving in the right direction now.

"At the moment we are winning much more often. This is the most important thing. I think even with a few setbacks recently, we still took a step forward as a team. We work hard to achieve a common goal - getting wins. The desire to win is very much felt in the team's locker room, which is most important as the season draws to a close. We are hungry for victories. After that bad run where we had a lot of losses, we all want to bounce back and finish this season strong," asserted the Wolves' Nigerian import.

Before the match against Uniclub Casino Juventus, C. Mekowulu shared his thoughts on the upcoming game, the defeat in the Vilnius derby, three-point shots, and expectations for the end of the regular season.

– On Saturday, there is a game against Utena's Uniclub Casino – Juventus, one of the rivals in the fight for third place. What will it take to win?

The most important thing is that we are all united, to work hard on defense and perform our roles well. We will have to accurately execute the game plan prepared by the coaches, be aggressive and not give up in the fight for rebounds. If we can do that, I think the outcome of the match will be good for us.

– In the second-round match in Utena, Wolves lost by a huge margin. Do you use this as extra motivation when preparing for this game?

I remember that game very well. We were not successful, the loss was very painful, so we want to show that it was just a very bad day for our team. At the same time, it will be a good test for us to see where we are. We will continue the fight for the third place, which we want to protect. Utena has a very good team, it is not easy for anyone to play against them. This match will show what form we are in at the moment, what we need to improve the most and what attitude we have going into the end of the season.

– How do you rate your game lately?

Both then and now, I try to give 100 percent on the court. Also, whenever I step on the floor, I always strive for victory. I want to have that attitude in Saturday's game as well. Of course, when the team is successful, it's easier for me. But regardless of how the team plays, I try to give my all, and this shows in my game in points or rebounds, playing on defense.

– What lessons did you learn from the loss in the Vilnius derby last week?

We came into that game on the heels of a good win, so it's a shame we couldn't repeat that. In all league games, aside from this one, we have to remember that it's never going to be easy against any opponent. Everyone comes in with the attitude to win, you can't afford to have a bad night if you relax even just for a little bit, you can't do that because you'll get punished straight away. You must be focused for the entire 40 minutes.

– Looking at your stats, what stands out is that you have made at least one three-point shot in your last three games. You haven't done that before. Is it a team strategy to stretch the floor?

I just play basketball. If I'm in a good spot, and I've got space, I'll try to shoot it because I know I can make them. This is also encouraged by our coach, who wants me to shoot more often not only from long distance, but also from the perimeter if I am open. When he allows me to do so, it gives me confidence. Also, I stay in the gym after practice and do a lot of shooting. Therefore, what you do in training becomes a habit for you to do during games. Now that I'm free, I feel confident and try to make all my shot attempts.

– What are your and the team's expectations for the rest of the regular season?

Like I said, I always want to win. Therefore, if we can get wins in the remaining games of the regular season, it will be a good momentum for the playoffs for both me and the team. With our current attitude and spirit, we can certainly have a good run in this very important part of the season.


The game at the Avia Solutions Group Arena between the Wolves and Uniclub Casino Juventus happens on Saturday, March 30 at 17:00.