Fabien Causeur, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 26  february  2015

By winning its last three home games, Laboral Kutxa Vitoria is back on track, fighting for a playoffs spot in difficult Top 16 Group F. One of the pillars of its success has been shooting guard Fabien Causeur, who is arguably playing his best basketball since he arrived in Vitoria three years ago. He produced a fantastic all-around game – 12 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 7 fouls drawn – in his team's 79-74 home win against Unicaja Malaga. Causeur is averaging 7.4 points and 2.3 assists in 16 Turkish Airlines Euroleague games this season, but has boosted his numbers to 10.7 points and 3.3 assists in Laboral's three Top 16 wins thus far. Over a year ago, Causeur was sidelined due to a renal condition that needed further medical examination. He returned to action eight weeks later and has been strong ever since – and playing better since Ibon Navarro was promoted to the head coach spot. Causeur credits Coach Navarro for his team's improvement in recent weeks, as he told Javier Gancedo of Euroleague.net in this interview. "Everybody now understands his role in the team and that is important, so I think Ibon is a big part of this turnaround," Causeur said. "He gave us confidence and we are trying to give back to him by winning games."
Hello, Fabien. Congratulations on the win against Unicaja Malaga, which brings you closer to playoffs territory. What allowed you to win this important game?

"It was a big win, especially because we played at home. It is very important to win at home in the Top 16. We are now one win away from Efes. I think that Unicaja is a very aggressive team. They get a lot of offensive rebounds and the key for us was to box out and try to win the battle under the boards, which we did."

You won your last three home games. What makes you so comfortable at Fernando Buesa Arena?

"We have been playing much better at home than on the road from the beginning of the season. Our fans inspire us to win our home games. If you win your home games, anything is possible in the Euroleague. We are trying to get the job done at home. We know we have to win against big teams on the road, too. If we win at home, we will have more confidence to win on the road."

Laboral Kutxa found the right point guard duo in Mike James and Darius Adams. What have they brought to the team?

"We changed a lot of players in the past few months, but we are playing really well know. The team has found the right chemistry. I like the fact that Mike and Darius play great defense. They put a lot of pressure [on the opponent's point guard] and are always ready to push the ball and be really aggressive. Our coach, Ibon Navarro, has given them a lot of confidence and they are doing a good job."

Has it been tough for players like you and Fernando San Emeterio, who have been there for years, to find the right rhythm after so many roster changes?

"You get used to it. I have been here for three seasons and know that when the team is not playing well, players will be changed. It is not an easy situation, but it is our job and we try to do our best to win games. We found a good rhythm now and like I said, we are playing much better."

How much credit do you give to Coach Ibon Navarro, who knows the club better than most?

"He has been our assistant coach for many years and knows the club really well. I think he gave a lot of confidence to every player in the team. Everybody now understands his role in the team and that is important, so I think Ibon is a big part of this turnaround. He gave us confidence and we are trying to give back to him by winning games."

You play a pivotal game against Anadolu Efes this week. How important would it be to beat them in Istanbul?

"It is a key game – if we don't win this one, we will be two games behind fourth place, so it will be more difficult for us. We lost at home against them. It was a tough loss, because we were leading for 39 minutes and they won the game down the stretch. We proved we can compete against them. We know they are really strong at their place and just won the Turkish Cup. We will play against our former teammate Thomas Heurtel. We know this team and we are ready to compete against them. Thomas was the Turkish Cup MVP and right now, he is really comfortable on the court."

You only registered one road in this Euroleague season – in Istanbul against Galatasaray Liv Hospital. Why has it been hard for you to win outside Vitoria?

"This has been a big question for us since the beginning of the season. I think we have been much more aggressive at home, especially at the start of the games. We lost some games on the road that we should have won. The team is not trying to think too much about it. We will try to take one step forward by going to Istanbul and winning the game."

Only team captain Fernando San Emeterio has played for your team longer than you. How do you like playing for Laboral Kutxa in a basketball city like Vitoria?

"I have been here for three years and am really comfortable here. This is a good team and both fans and staff know me really well. I have a great relationship with everybody in the club. Fernando and I try to help our teammates as much as we can, on and off the court. When Darius and Mike arrived in Vitoria, we tried to help them a lot. It is a part of my job, I am like a veteran here."

A lot of French players have played for this club in the past. Why is that?

"Yes, it's true! I know that well. Laurent Foirest came to visit me last season. We talked a lot about Vitoria. We don't compare because the team is not the same as before, but we are trying to win, make it to the playoffs and maybe to the Final Four. It would be great for our fans."

Making it to the playoffs, with a chance for more, is certainly a possibility. What are the next goals for Laboral Kutxa?

"Well, the goal is to go game after game and always try to win the next one. The game against Efes is a key one in our season. We want to show that we can go to the playoffs like we did two years ago. As for the Spanish League, we have also started to win games. I hope we will make it to the playoffs and surprise some people."
Source http://www.euroleague.net/features/interviews/euroleague-...