Worthy de Jong (194-G-1988) is a 34 year old 194cm guard form Holland playing his 11th season for Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden (BNXT League). In between he played one season for SO Maritime Boulogne (France-ProB). He has won 7 titles in Holland and also been a member of the Dutch national team. He recently spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Congrats Worthy on reaching the Fiba Europe Cup semi-finals. How good does it feel winning at home over Crailsheim?
It feels great, but we aren’t satisfied yet. so our focus needs to maintain sharp.
You already won the Super Cup. Now your two wins away from another title. How strong is that ‘We believe’ in the team?
Believe should be there every day, and with that we grow closer, start to know each others tendencies.
Leiden had only lost by three points in Crailsheim. How good was the overall team feeling going into this do or die game of winning?
Pretty good I’d say, we felt like we could’ve beat them at their place but came up short. I also played a terrible game there. so it was definitely one to make up for.
The first quarter was really tight. What do you believe did the team feel learn from the first game from TJ Shorts game? I guess it’s fair to say that you can never completely stop him?
It’s always easy to speak about it after the game, but besides that he is a great player. The team is also built around him, they run most plays for him and that’s something that you could really notice once he was out for the remainder.
The second quarter continued to be a real dog fight. You hit a big three late to conserve the slight 53-49 advantage. Why couldn’t any team get away from the other?
Well lack of experience kicked us a little, and their pressure really did make it tough on us.
TJ Shorts went out injured in the third quarter. Did you see after that just how valuable he is to his team? They weren’t the same anymore.
Like I mentioned earlier, his usage is really high so when he went out someone else had to run the plays that were kind of designed for him and that kind of took the team out of their element.
Leiden made a run in the last three minutes as Maarten Bouwknecht gave a huge spark. Was it easier to find a better routine on the defensive end without Shorts in?
Focus definitely shifted, but the remainder of the players on the floor were also players of great capabilities so it just moved to someone else.
Leiden did a super job keeping the double figures lead for the most part. Crailsheim came back a little in the last minutes, but it wasn’t enough. You gave up 28 points in the second half. What adjustments did you make on defense?
intensity definitely played a big roll. We were lacking some energy earlier, but were able to pick it up. Plus communication also played a roll. knowing where to run to, rebounding missed shots.
Two big strengths on the night was sharing the ball and rebounding. What else contributed to the win?
I think those were definitely 2 of the most important ones. Defense itself also was really strong .
You got huge support from Maarten Bouwknecht. I guess he remembered the win over Gronningen where he shot out the lights like tonight.
Maarten is a player I have been telling teams about for a while now and as the season progresses people start to notice what he is capable of and teams start to see the mistake they made not signing him.
You next play against Bahcesehir whom you lost twice two. What do you remember this team giving you the most problems?
it was a variety of things that made it difficult. I would say experience was definatley a factor. Athleticism and Smith is also a factor that needs focus.
You had solid games against them, but you must be even more focused this time holding your own against some ex NBA players. Is their a favorite in the game?
I never lay any focus on what the players name brings, I focus on the task at hand which is making it as tough as possible for them to play their game.
Could defending against alltime Eurocup shooting king Jamar Smith be an assignment that will fall into your hands? What do you remember from his game?
It’s definitely a nice challenge, one that I won’t go out the way for. He’s crafty, quick and has a nice shot, so I will have my hands full.
You have had a solid season in both competitions. Turnovers have been a problem. Is over aggressiveness sometimes a cause for this?
I’d say at times that could be the case. Besides the last domestic league home game, I think most of my turnovers are caused on trying to give an assist. So intention is good I’d say. execution might need to be better.
What can we await from the game against Bahcesehir? Will three be a charm? I
t might just be. Other than luck. I’d say hard work. and staying sharp.
Thanks Worthy for the chat.
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