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Interviews

Mike Mokongo: "This is the best period of a season" - Mar 17, 2010


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GREG
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Eurobasket: Mike, you joined APOEL Nicosia three weeks ago and you are qualifying for quarter finals of Eurochallenge. You will play against Roanne Tuesday 23th March.
Mickael Mokongo (180-G-86, agency: ACMT): Im exciting to play against Roanne, I know FIBA Eurochallenge is a great competition. Im back on the court and everything is going well with my new team. My physical shape is back. I played 35 minutes vs Chalon (11 points and 6 assists) and 25 minutes vs Buducnost (9 points and 5 assists). You know, I worked hard after my surgery and now Im feeling good.

Can you tell us your story about this summer?
I have decided to play for Republic Central Africa NT (his native country). We were in Belgium for preparation of Afrobasket 2009. During a friendly game in Oostende I hurt my knee. I had surgery in Lille (France) July 6th and I stayed in Paris at Clairefontaine and worked hard every day for my rehab during 6 months. We had the chance to get an important role during this completion but it wasnt God plan.

How did you feel before to join Nicosia?
Physically I was ready but I didnt play since July so I miss some game feeling. Its a good opportunity for me to play for Nicosia. Everybody here takes care of me and helps me to integrate the team. Now, we are looking for Eurochallenge schedule and the national championship. Its the best period of a season.

Your first game had been against Chalon, your former team
Actually not, I played one league game the weekend before. Anyway, it was unbelievable to play vs Chalon for my second game since 7 months. But playing against my team and my former coach, Greg Beugnot, was really special. It was exciting, but Im just happy that we won the game. I'm sure Chalon will finish strong the season, they have a great roster.

What did you learn since you left Chalon/Saone 4 seasons ago?
Chalon were a great experience, this is where I discovered professional basket ball. We had a lot of experienced players who learned me a lot. I had the opportunity to become a starter in Lega at Capo d'Orlando , I was young but you don't refuse such a challenge . But I dont regret at all, I learned a lot about professional career in Italy and in Turkey (Banvit). I am only 23; I just want to continue to improve. I learned also to be more patient. Before I was focusing on how to play, now I'm focused on how to win.

You left France at the age of 19. Where do you want to continue your career?
Basketball is universal. I do not make plans to play anywhere particular. I grow up in France, If I have the opportunity Ill take it without any hesitation. If I have to go anywhere else I will go too. Basketball is my passion, I am ready, I will play anywhere since there is a court and a ball and will give my best. I want to win trophies and find stability.

Good luck Mike and thank you for your time.
Thank you and I also want to thank my family and my friends, they really supported me. Thanks God for blessing me.   




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