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The last shoot…

In one of the best finals of the last years and one of the best Olympiacos – Panathinaikos derbies, the “reds” did not succeed in making a 3peat losing 70-71 at the last shoot of the game…

In one of the best finals of the last years and one of the best Olympiacos – Panathinaikos derbies, the “reds” did not succeed in making a 3peat losing 70-71 at the last shoot of the game…

Bad luck? Other factors? Lack of experience? No matter what, the “reds” did not make it, although they were leading even by 13 points just before the end of the third quarter.

The Dusan Ivkovic’ players started the game nervously and made of lot of mistakes that gave the greens the opportunity to build a substantial lead. However, by playing excellent defense at the second quarter they managed to reach half-time trailing only by 3.

The “reds” were impressive at the beginning of the second half and turned a -3 difference to a +13 lead (58-45). Nevertheless, they once again blacked out at that point allowing their opponents a comeback with a 10-0 streak. Olympiacos once again controlled the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter and led 68-60, but Panathinaikos using … tough defense made once again a 10-0 streak.

Only 26’’ before the end, Diamantidis got fouled by Mantzaris, instead being called on an offensive and making1/2 free throws gave his team the lead 70-71. During the last play of the game, Kostas Papanikolaou shot a three-pointer, Batiste threw himself on him, the ball did not enter the basket, the refs did not see a foul and the game was over.

The quarter: 17-25, 35-38, 58-55, 70-71.
Per quarter: 17-25, 18-13, 23-17, 12-16.
Οlympiacos (Dusan Ivkovic): Hines 11, Papanikolaou, Antic 13(2), Spanoulis 12, Μantzaris 2, Dorsey 2, Κeselj 7(1), Gecevicius 2, Sloukas 4(1), Printezis 17(1).
Panathinaikos (Zeljko Obradovic): Smith, Kaimakoglou 8, Μaric 6, Perperoglou, Batiste 9, Logan, Sato 10(2), Γιασικεβίτσιους 10(1), Τσαρτσαρής 5(1), Διαμαντίδης 9, Βουγιούκας 7, Καλάθης 7(1).

DUSAN IVKOVIC: “Congratulations to Panathinaikos for winning the Cup. It was a very strong game. Each quarter was totally different. I had not expected for certain players to start the game so nervously, we did not control the ball well at the time and we received 25 points. The beginning of the second quarter had been our best.

Panathinaikos great experience was obvious at the end of the game. That’s where the game was decided. Mantzaris should have made the shot at 5’’ when he was free. And should he lose it; we still would have told him he did right. An experienced team knows how to win fouls at the end, while during our last three offenses we either made offensive fouls or shot the ball without balance. We need to learn from these mistakes, learn a lot from this game, because very tough games are ahead of us. We really missed Law, we could have taken pressure off from Spanoulis. The game would definitely have been different with an extra guard on the floor. We have a lot to learn from this game and be sure we are going to.

I want to talk about basketball, not fan behavior. After such a nice game, it’s only a pity. Teams have to work with the fans. When I was a young coach, we had some fans with Partizan that were causing problems and we just expelled them. Greece has people that understand basketball, has people that love the sport, but it is others that come to the gym and we look at how they fire crackers indoors”.

JOEY DORSEY: “Although we played a good game in general, unfortunately we made a lot of mistakes we should not have made, giving Panathinaikos the right to come back to the game, when we were leading. However, the refs overlooked Panathinaikos’ “tough” game. They fouled us a lot, but the refs just let the game continue.

The refs wanted to foul me out. I was called on a fourth foul I did not do in the third quarter. But also from the bench, where I was sitting, I could see the Panathinaikos players playing defense that should not be allowed, but the refs would only let the game evolve.

Of course, losing a big lead, also has to do with being a young team that has to face an experienced roster that is comprised of players that play together for years. Nevertheless, it was a game that gave young guys the opportunity to lean things. We are getting better from game to game.

Be sure that I will be dead serious about the Olympiacos – Panathinaikos games from now on. Even more so than the cup final. From the beginning of the game, the Panathinaikos players were playing me very tough, very strong, contrary to regulations. They “hit’ me, they were shoving me down in unsportsmanlike manner and they carried an attitude of ...”don’t worry, we are just going to shove you again”, when I got up. I felt they wanted to hurt me. So, I’m expecting to play against them again. Make sure that there is going to be no respect for them next time I play them. And I’m talking about the Panathinaikos players. I’m saying it again and I’m stressing it: there is going to be no respect whatsoever from me towards the Panathinaikos players. No respect!”

GIORGOS PRINTEZIS: It was a very good game, a good final between two strong teams. I think that both teams had studied their lesson. It was a game decided in the last few details, in the last play, in the last shot.

We made a lot of mistakes according to my opinion and gave the ball too many times to Panathinaikos, that made fast breaks and clang easy baskets.

At some point in the third quarter, we showed we could be very good. We had started the second half much more decisive, reached a 13 point lead but quickly lost it. This is the worse part for me.

I think that this team plays very good basketball, in comparison to how it started out. I believe we are in the right path. I don’t want this to sound like an excuse, but we have the League title ahead of us and as far as this concerned both I and the rest of the guys are pretty confident we can make it. We have to continue working and we are now thinking about the next day. We have a very crucial series against Siena to play for the Euroleague, while we play Panionios for the League. We move on!

There are guys in this team that played in a final for the first time in their career, as far as club competitions are concerned and in such a high level. It’s not easy. But these are games to gain you important experience in view of what comes next. We are sorry to have lost, because we had really wanted to win the cup. It’s a title and we don’t have the luxury to give … away trophies, but we are still going after the big goal of the season, which is the Leauge and I believe we are in advantage. This is not a defeat due to inexperience. Of course, lack of experience cost us at some points, but from that point on it’s a defeat due to mistakes we made. We did not remain focused for 40 minutes. And staying focused is one of the most basic factors in derbies like that.

Panathinaikos is not just a pick-n-roll team. They have other things they do well and they are a more experienced team. We are more inexperienced, but we have more energy. We try to exploit on our advantages at every game and contain our weaknesses. It was a game decided by details, just like it was details that decided both previous derbies. And that’s the way I believe all games between the two teams that are ahead are going to be decided”.