Jukka Matinen is a 33 year old 203cm forward that was born in Kerava, Finland. He started his basketball career in 1995 for New Wave. He then played for NMKY Helsinki, ToPo Helsinki, Tapiolan Honka and Honka Espoo from 1997-2002. He then played for the Skyliners from 2002-2006 playing 104 Beko BBL games, 19 ULEB cup games and 9 Euroleague games. He won the German championship in 2004 and reached the final in 2005. He then played for Honka Espoo Playboys from 2006-2011 playing 195 games winning the Finish title in 2007 and 2008. He spoke to German Hoops about the Pascal Roller farewell game and basketball in general.
How happy were you to be part of the Pascal Roller farewell game?
It was great to come back and an honor to be asked. I always enjoy coming back to Frankfurt. They have great fans there.
What was your impression of Pascal Roller. Was there much difference to 2006 when you last played with him?
He is still quick. He is still in very good shape despite being retired. He isn´t in as good shape as in 2006, but I think that he could still play in the Beko BBL now.
In the BCM training facility, it is never rare to see a bunch of Fraport Skyliner players practicing each day working on how they will beat their next opponent and seeing people of all ages going after a basketball. However once in a while, there are special occasions where the ultimate best enter the gym like in the last years with the German national team, NBA superstar Dirk Nowitzki or ex NBA players like Alex Acker, Marcus Brown, Marcus Fizer, Charles Smith, Mario Kasun or current NBA players like Carlos Arroyo, Jon Leuer, Lavoy Allen or Justin Harper. With the Pascal Roller farewell game that was held on January 28th, the Skyliner legend invited back some of his ex teammates like Stefano Garris, Jukka Matinen, Dennis Wucherer, Robert Maris or Gerrit Terdenge to battle on the court. The BCM court may not be as big as the Fraport arena, but there is a special aura in the building that gives the impression that extra ordinary players have stepped on the court for years. “The BCM brings back special memories. I have left a lot of sweat and tears on this court. I always enjoyed practicing here and have only positive memories”, expressed current KTP Basket Kotka forward Jukka Matinen. Nino Garris who will always cherish the ad he did on top of the Deutsche Bank tower in 2005 with Pascal Roller also will never forget the BCM. “This is one of the best gym´s in Europe. Every team wants a facility like this. I was lucky to be able to work in this building for three years”, added Nino Garris. For rookie Michael Thompson, the BCM is like a candy shop, becuas eits always open. “This place is always open, and there are so many rims that one can always shoot. I like to be here in my free time working on my shooting and ball handling. I have the luxury to be able to walk here”, stressed Michael Thompson.
Pascal Roller is a 34 year old 180cm combo guard that is playing his 11th season in Frankfurt. He started his career with TV Langen and then played with Freiburg in the second German Bundesliga from 1996-1999. He has played in Frankfurt ever since except for the 2006-2007 season when he took a sabbatical in Italy with Angelico Biella playing 39 games averaging 5.7ppg, 1.6rpg, 1.4apg, 2FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 41.9%, FT: 85.0%. His best statistical season was the 2004-2005 season where he played 44 games averaging14.9ppg, 3.2rpg, Ast-5(4.0apg), 1.0spg, 2.7bpg, 2FGP: 49.5%, 3FGP-3(43.3%). He has played 19 Euroleague games, 28 ULEB Cup games, and 12 Eurochallenge games. His biggest success with Frankfurt was winning the BBL Cup in 2000 and the BBL championship in 2004. He is a seven time BBL Allstar. He also played with the German National team for 9 years. His biggest accomplishments was playing at the 2008 Olympics at Beijing, winning a bronze medal at the World Championships at Indianapolis in 2002 and winning a silver medal at The European Championships in Belgrad in 2005. In 2009-2010, he played 46 games averaging 8.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.7apg, FGP: 44.3%, 3PT: 40.0%, FT-1(90.8%). currently he is averaging 4,5ppg and 1,3apg. He spoke to German Hoops before game 5 against Alba Berlin
Congrats on the 83-74 win against Alba Berlin in game four. Are these do or die games easy now for you then earlier in your career?
Yes it gets easier, because I have more experience in these games in the last years. Now I know how to react in certain phases of the game and am able to make better decision in certain phases of a game.