Finals MVP Manigat: "You're only as good as your fans"

It would be difficult to find a player who seems to be enjoying basketball as much as BBL Finals MVP Jahenns Manigat does. After he guided Pasvalys to their first-ever BBL championship, Jahenns took a minute of his time to celebrate and shared his thoughts with BBL.net.

 

Pieno Zvaigzdes celebrated their first BBL championship in club history and ended their trophy drought – the last time the Lithuanian side took the top spot on the podium was back in 2011, when they won the second tier of the Lithuanian league.

Having joined the team mid-season, Jahenns has been a perfect addition and was a real thunderbolt of energy throughout the finals series. He averaged 14.5 points, 7.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds and was rightfully chosen the the Finals' Most Valuable Player.

First of all, congratulations on winning the championship trophy and the MVP award. It was real fun watching you guys play out there – it seemed you were really enjoying yourselves!

Thank you! I mean, we had to – we really wanted to win today. We just really wanted to win today. We knew we had a plus 18 advantage and sometimes it’s difficult to really get fired up when you’re up by that much. It’s human nature – it’s in the back of the mind, but we told ourselves we just wanted to win in front of our fans. They deserve to see us doing both – taking the win and holding up the trophy.

You were certainly fired up, we saw you riling up the fans. Was getting the fans involved something you stressed before the game?

Honestly, that's just how I play. I've played that way ever since I could remember. Our fans gave us a really big boost, especially in the first half – the game was going back and forth. They gave us a really big boost and we were able to push in the third quarter. Again, as I always say – you're only as good as your fans – if your fans can give you the extra lift when you need them the most, you'll be surprised what you can do as a team.

Again, the 18 point advantage before the game, but it was still a very emotional game. Did the loud support from the opposing fans and Jurmala's tough play give you some extra motivation to ride it out?

Absolutely! That's what you want in a championship game. Hats off to Jurmala, they understood what they were up against and they played really hard. Being down 18 is really tough but right up until the end of the fourth quarter, until that last minute they were giving us everything that they got so you absolutely have to respect them. Hats off to them and congratulations to for the second place!