Porter Troupe is a 32 year old 196cm guard from San Diego, California that is playing his fifth season with CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu (Romania-Liga Nationala). He started his basketball career with Portland (NCAA) in 2001 and finished at Warner Pacific College (NCCAA) in 2005. It took him three years until he came to Europe in 2008 and in the meantime he played for the Vancouver Volcanoes (IBL). In Europe he also played for Al Moutahed Tripoli (Lebanon-Div.A) and Cytavision Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A). He spoke to German Hoops after the 83-80 win against the Fraport Skyliners winning third place at the 2015 Eurochallenge final 4 in Turkey.
Congrats Porter on the amazing 83-80 win against the Fraport Skyliners to win the bronze at the 2015 Eurochallenge. How do you feel and where does this achievement rack up in your professional career?
Hey Miles, good talking with you again. It feels good to come to the final four and come away with a medal. Didn’t want to leave here empty handed.
CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu had a good start, but the Fraport Skyliners fought back and trailed only 36-34 at halftime. How proud were you in general of the team keeping pace with Frankfurt on the boards as their penetration game was very lethal?
We knew after our dismal performance on the boards against Trabzon that we needed to be much better. I think guys took it personal and that’s why we had some success.
The Fraport Skyliners got stronger in the third quarter going on a 10-0 run and having their first lead. However CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu always stayed with Frankfurt. How key was it going to zone in the second half to help your big men who were in foul trouble?
The game was officiated very tight. Which ended up hurting us because we had guys in foul trouble all game. The zone slowed some of Frankfurt’s momentum. It was a big key to the game.
How did CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu conserve energy best in the last quarter? It really seemed like the Fraport Skyliners might pull it out at the end?
Really it was just a matter of will. We wanted to come away with a top 3 finish over Frankfurt. We felt we deserved at least that.
As crunch time arrived the Fraport Skyliners seemed to have the momentum and led 75-70. How big was the faith at this stand point that CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu wouldn´t give up?
We just kept fighting. That has been our story all season. We have dealt with injuries and changes to the roster all season. This has brought us closer together and instilled belief in our own abilities.
When you saw the shot of Giordan Watson leave his hands, did you know it would go in?
I knew it was good as soon as it left his hands. Justin Cobbs asked me if it was going and I said definitely.
It seemed like Giordan Watson wanted to decide this game himself. Was this last play designed for him or what was the play exactly?
Yes we felt that Giordan going 1 on 1 was our best option. He is great at getting in the lane and scoring or creating for others.
Watson had a very solid season in Germany 7 years ago, but never got a chance again. He won the point guard battle against potential NBA player Justin Cobbs. How much of a chance does a guy like Watson have for playing at a higher level?
Giordan to me was the best point guard in the competition. He proved it over and over, and leading a small club like ours to the final four is just a testament to that. He is for the highest level if you ask me.
Coming into the third place game with Frankfurt CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu had won 5 Eurochallenge games by five or less points owning crunch time. How confident were you that you would leave the floor again as the winner? Was the will to win a touch bigger than with Frankfurt?
We believe that we have what it takes to pull through in close games. Today was no different. But I can’t speak on their feelings or need to win. I just know we ended up on top.
How challenging was it playing against top defensive player Quantez Robertson? You did a very good job on him through out the game?
Quantez was a good competitor. I respect his game and heart. I had a good game, because we shared the ball and I got good looks at the basket.
CS Energia Rovinari Targu Jiu finished in third place. What positives were you able to take from the 2014-2015 Eurochallenge? What was your highlight besides getting third place?
It was a great experience for me and my teammates. The exposure proved the quality of the Romanian league and some of my teammates. I also feel that I proved that I can compete against top players in top league and do more than hold my own. I felt I won a lot of my matchups.
What special place will your medal receive?
I gave my mom the medal, thanks again Miles!
Thanks Porter for the chat.