Alexei Efimov: "Players of Monaco began to be highly quoted in Europe"

26 June 2017
Alexei Efimov: "Players of Monaco began to be highly quoted in Europe"
Despite the end of the basketball season in Europe, work in the Ukrainian basketball club "Monaco" of businessman Sergey Dyadechko does not stop, but is in full swing. The sports director of the Monegasques, another one of our compatriots, Alexei Efimov touched both the performances in the last championship and the preparations for the future.

- Why after such a successful season several players left the "Monaco"?
- This is the logical back side of our achievements. Thanks to the victories of "Monaco", our players have become more highly quoted in Europe. As a result, their financial requests have grown, which we are now difficult to satisfy. So Di Bost was offered in Russia a salary of 500 thousand dollars, Brandon Davis in Lithuania - 300 thousand, Nik Kaner-Medley - a two-year contract in Spain. Such salaries French clubs can not afford. Yakub Ouattara and at all invited to watch the NBA team. He also joined the French team. If he does not develop behind the ocean, then a lucrative contract is ready to give him ASVEL. This attention to our players speaks about an extremely successful season for Monegasques. But, of course, we strive to keep key performers in our country.

- These losses will not be critical for the team?
- Such fears already arose. And two years ago, when the "Monaco" left Quincy Taylor, and last year after the departure of Adrian Uther and Dee Jay Cooper. But when new basketball players come, they make their game forget about losses. For example, all our newcomers of the past season, except for Bost and Kaner-Medley, previously played in the French league Pro A. In the previous teams they were not considered as leaders, and they were eager to prove that this was an underestimation. And now in European basketball know that in Monaco is not only comfortable to live. Now everyone knows that in addition to this, players here come to a new level. That's why I'm sure that in the next season we will build a good team. And at the same time, we will continue to remember that we are playing primarily for fans. So we will not hurry and will attach great importance to the personality of the players. It is very important that we extended until 2018 a contract with the head coach Zvezdan Mitrovic. He is the architect of all our victories and the core of the team. Monegasques are strong primarily as a team. After all, none of our performers entered the top-10 of the season for performance.

- What will the budget of Monaco be for the next season?
- The budget will not increase compared to last season (then it was 6.3 million euros and was the fifth largest in Pro A). But the size of the budget is not important in itself. The main thing is how to dispose of it. We were not the richest club in France, and in the international arena the difference in financial performance with rivals was even greater. For example, when we played in the playoffs of the Champions League with AEK, we made our way to a match in Greece in economy class with a transfer in Frankfurt. And the Greeks rented two private planes for a return fight - one for the players, and the second for the fans. Another indicative point: in the contracts of our basketball players, no one even thought to include a clause about bonuses in case of reaching the Final Four Champions League. No one imagined that we would reach such heights.

- Back in the past, how do you rate the defeat of ASVEL in the playoffs?
- ASVEL played very well. His players were better prepared physically, and we did not very accurately attack the game. But nevertheless, it is characteristic that we lost at least 211: 212 on the score of three matches, and the difference in the ratio of free throws was huge - 94-43 in favor of ASVEL. I do not think that this happened ever before. Another factor was the injuries of Jordan Aboudou and Amar Sai. Particularly important role played a break in the hands of Sai at the beginning of the decisive third duel quarterfinal series. And besides, the knee worried Sergei Gladyr, and Davis went to the site in the same third meeting with a broken finger.

- What will remain the most vivid memory of the past season?
- It will not even be a victory in the regular season Pro A. And the atmosphere in our home arena during the return match of the 1/8 finals of the Champions League playoffs with AEK. That evening, our fans provided the team with such powerful support, what happens at football matches. If not better.



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