Warren: "We have to get better each game"

PARNU – Over the month that it took Port of Parnu to earn its first victory in Triobet BBL this season, Andrew Warren has been one of the few rays of sunlight for the fans of the Estonian club.

And that bright ray of sunlight was what eventually brought the first win along.

 


The 28-year-old American was very much the architect of the team’s first win, taking matters into his hands down the stretch and draining a game-winning pull-up jumper from beyond the arc with only seconds to spare.

Warren finished the night as the team’s top scorer once again, having collected 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting from the field, as Port of Parnu took down the visiting Nevezis 81-80 on Tuesday night.

Averaging 22.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game, the guard is Triobet BBL’s leading scorer and ranks third in the league in steals. Having already picked up monthly MVP honors for October, Warren continues to shine in November as well.

First of all, congrats on picking up October MVP honors. What does the award mean to you personally?

Well, first of all thank you. The award means quite a bit to me and just shows that the hard work paid off this summer. You can’t get individual awards without having good teammates and stuff like that. Thanks to them for screening me, for getting me open, spacing the floor, allowing me to make the plays and to help me have good games to get that award.

The team has been struggling in the Triobet BBL so far. Although the results in the Estonian league are better, what do you need to do to turn it around?

Now I can say this, we got our first win tonight [Tuesday], which is a good sign of growth for us. I think the most important thing for us to be successful in the Baltic League is we just have to get better each and every game. We are a very young team and a lot of the teams we play are pretty experienced. But if we just come out and play hard, and play together, and continue to improve each and every game, I think the success will show and will start to turn around for us.

From the teams you played against in Group A, who – in your eyes – has looked the best? Is there anyone you would single out?

Lietkabelis is pretty good, Rapla has been playing well and Kalev, they beat us a few times, also in the Baltic League game. They’re just teams that play well, play together and have experienced guys. If we can take something form them and implement it to the things we do, we can play better against them and get wins against them.

You have travelled all around globe during your career, playing in Australia, Cyprus, Argentina and now Estonia. Do you enjoy getting to see different parts the world and various cultures, what is that like?

Yeah, I definitely do. It’s one of the things that’s like a hobby or a passion of mine. Speaking with people from different countries, from different backgrounds and getting to see them is really great. I really enjoy it. I think it’s one of the ways you can break down barriers and stereotypes, by living in different countries and interacting with people from different countries that have different customs, food and way of doing things. I think it allows you to have a better perspective on life, just to see how people live around the world.

How is Estonia different to the previous stops, both in terms of basketball and culturally?

It’s the coldest place I’ve played [laughs]. It’s different just because when I lived in Italy and Cyprus, it’s more of a Mediterranean type of culture. You know, Greek and Italian, are very old school, they have their own ways of doing things. Estonia has been good to me, the living has been good, even though it has been cold. They have nice gyms to play in and you have pretty much everything you need here. I enjoy it here. You know, I eat a lot of potatoes here, it’s probably the biggest difference food-wise than I’ve had in any other place. People are nice and friendly, and I’m enjoying my time here.

How do you usually spend your days in Parnu, what do you like to do during your free time?

Usually, I sit in my room, to be honest. Before the weather started getting a little colder, I would walk around or try to go to the town center and just walk around and try to get out of my hotel room a little bit. I try to interact with my teammates, we hang out. When we know we have a day off, we try to hang out, watch some TV or go out for a little bit. You know, do things that keep you sane, whatever that is. I talk to people back home as much as possible. Sometimes that means staying up kind of late because of the time change. But it’s necessary to keep your mind right. 

Looking forward, what are your individual ambitions for the season and, at the same time, what would you like to achieve with the team this season?

Individual aspirations always turn into team aspirations for me. I’ve always been a team player. I know here I had to step up and take more of an individual approach to the game, just because we have a young team and more is needed out of me to be successful. But I just want to see us improve every day. I don’t like putting numbers out there and say we need to win this amount of games or do thisIf we can just get better every game, every practice and as long as I can see the young guys grow and play better, we can come together and play better as a team, that’s enough for me.

Thank you, Andrew, and finally, can you say something in Estonian?

Yeah – aitäh, nägemist [thank you, goodbye]!