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The captain spoke at the end

Olympiacos was the big winner of the derby for the last day of the Euroleague TOP-16 against Panathinaikos with a score of 68-65 following a three by Vassilis Spanoulis with only 0.8’’remaining to the end.

Olympiacos was the big winner of the derby for the last day of the Euroleague TOP-16 against Panathinaikos with a score of 68-65 following a three by Vassilis Spanoulis with only 0.8’’remaining to the end.

The game began well for our team with the Back2Back European Champions leading 10-3 at the beginning. However, some wrong choices in the offense and lack of concentration in defense hurt the team of Giorgos Bartzokas and the first quarter ended 12-16 in favor of Panathinaikos.

The ‘reds’ continued being poor shots in the second quarter and making wrong choices. Dunston, Lojeski, Petway and Sloukas offered some help. Mantzaris was outstanding on both ends of the court, but half time found Olympiacos trailing 29-37.

The Back2Back European Champions made a 13-0 streak in the third quarter and turned the score from 29-41 against them to 42-41 at 28’, but poor shooting took once again its toll and hence the guests were leading 46-48 at the end of the third quarter.

The Piraeus team did not give up into the last quarter. Sloukas was unstoppably executing behind the 6.75 arc, Mantzaris was doing a great job on both sides of the floor and the captain, Vassilis Spanoulis took over when things got tough. With continuous  scoring gave our team the lead 65-63, Panathinaikos tied the game 65-65 and Spanoulis, only 0,8’’ before the end of the game, gave ‘Thrylos’ a 68-65 victory thus winning the third place of the group.

The quarters: 12-16, 29-37, 46-48, 68-65.

Οlympiacos (Bartzokas): Petway 7 (1), Shermadini 2, Dunston 12, Spanoulis 9 (1), Perperoglou 3 (1), Papapetrou 5 (1), Sloukas 12 (4), Collins, Simmons, Mantzaris 11 (2), Lojeski 7(1).
Panathinaikos (Alvertis): Bramos 3 (1), Curry 10 (1), Batiste 4, Fotsis 5, Ukic 6 (1), Lasme, Mavrokefalidis 17 (5 ριμπάουντ), Diamantidis 2, Gist 6, Maculis 4, Wright 8.

GIORGOS BARTZOKAS: “The game was about as we had expected it to be. A game with a lot of tactics involved; Panathinaikos was very good, maybe even better than what we had expected. I’m talking about Mavrokefalidis’ performance, as well as the two jump shots by Wright. We were under a lot of pressure for the victory and this is obvious in the missed free throws. For those who watched the game, it was one of great score fluctuations, enough suspense, and this victory gives us the third position. We wanted something better, but we have already talked about Barcelona and Milan. Unfortunately, the rotation was even smaller tonight. What cost us is that we had to play with Petway at ‘4’ for a long time, so we used Stratos (Perperoglou) as well. I would like to thank our fans for their amazing support. Not only tonight but during all of the TOP-16. Congratulations to our players for tonight and for everything they have accomplished.

Allow me to make a special reference on Mantzaris who scored 11 points, got 9 rebounds and had 5 assists. Also, I’d like to talk about Sloukas’ performance. It’s the way we want our young Greek players to play. Also, Spanoulis won the game for us, Dunston, Shermadini and Petway played very well. In general, congratulations to all the guys. What was important was to win. We didn’t care about the difference, or anything else. But if you want to talk about stats, the most important element is to talk about 7/19 free throws and a percentage of 36%. As you all know, Panathinaikos makes a lot of switches and they go for tall-short players’ match-ups. Panathinaikos played the game exactly as they should have played it, they played with their experienced team and they deserve the accolades. I wish this victory changes our psychology. There are many circumstances shaping the evolution of a game. Greek society should not pass judgments in sports due to a bad or good game. Everyone is judged by their total unique course. Spanoulis has won three Euroleague titles, two with our team.

Vassilis has a lot of experience to know what it takes. It is many times that he may be under even greater pressure against Panathinaikos, as you may well know. I have never spoken with him in particular before a game against Panathinaikos. Vassilis is very well aware of what needs to be done. You know that in all three away games, the atmosphere is not welcoming at all, especially for him. If there is someone to have achieved a great deal in European basketball, then this is Vassilis Spanoulis. In a very tough group such as ours, Olympiacos succeeded in winning the psychological factor from this game, without really having anything at stake. You all know what the Olympiacos – Panathinaikos derby means. This game wears down both teams. The players don’t get over it for a long time, they get emptied psychologically speaking. It was really burdensome for both teams to participate this group”.

KOSTAS SLOUKAS: “I’m very happy to have won tonight’s game. I think we are in a good time, in good shape; we play well and have good psychology. We don’t stop trying for a minute and I wish to thank our fans for supporting us. We are going to do our best in the play-offs and hope for the best. Vassilis is the leader of our team, he’s the best player in Europe and he needs everyone’s support. It was obvious tonight who was going to win the game for us and he did that. When things get tough, then the tough gets going, just like tonight. The truth is we were under some pressure, because we wanted to win our home game and be third in the group. Our job is to bring energy on the floor and this is I believe we did”.

BRENT PETWAY: “I hurt my chin. It’s nothing but I have some headache, although when you win you overcome anything. It was a very tough game just like all else against Panathinaikos. We had great motivation for winning because we had wanted the third place of the group. We showed heart at the end and won the game. We’ll see from now on. Our goal had been to get the third place and we want to fight against any opponent”.

FRAGISKOS ALVERTIS: “It was a good game, we paid for the poor third quarter and our mistakes in the fourth one. This cycle of games is over for us, we are now focusing on the play-offs. We need to see what went wrong in the fourth quarter and improve. I dealt with the game more over the same way I deal with every game. You don’t have the room to check on who you play against and where. I came back to the Peace and Friendship Stadium with an active role after some time. Unfortunately for us, we did not do what we had wanted to, but I’m happy with my players. We fought a great battle. Together with what went wrong, we are keeping all that went right in the game. Given the problem Lasme is facing, and the playing value of Mavrokefalidis, tonight’s performance is no surprise at all, we all know Mavrokefalidis’ quality and he played accordingly tonight. At some point these Euroleague games have to be our guide for the next ones in the Greek League. There are maybe going to be sanctions for some incidents, it’s not my job to either listen or comment on such matters. I hope we experience situations like this one in the play-offs too, without violent incidents”.