They shook hands…
Dusan Ivkovic, Giorgos Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou all met at the OPAP offices on an invitation extended by Giannis Spanoudakis together with Zeljiko Obradovic, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Stratos Perperoglou.
The coaches and the players of the two teams shook hands and sent a message in regard to the atmosphere of the Final Four as well as that of the League finals that follow.
Before the Press Conference, the representatives of Olympiacos and Panathinaikos signed t-shirts prepared by OPAP, while both the “reds” and the “greens” gave a shirt with the signatures of all the team players to Giannis Spanoudakis.
GIANNIS SPANOUDAKIS: “I wish to thank the players and the coaches, for honoring this event with their presence. Both teams honor high level basketball with their participation. Sports unite clubs and their fans. Sports have given positive exposure to our country internationally, justifies us. Athletes offer a show inside and outside of courts. We hope that fans follow on their steps. This event is a message to everyone, whether they travel to Istanbul or not. They make us proud”.
ZELJKO OBRADOVIC: “We always talk before Final Fours, but I don’t know if there is anything new to say. Maybe it’s really important that we and Olympiacos are going together to Istanbul. It’s a great achievement, but we want to move on and beat CSKA to make the final.
It’s easy to see what has changed with the organization! You can see pictures of me 25 years ago! I’m happy to be back in the city that gave me my first title with Partizan. Nobody thought we would make it this far in the beginning of the season. But my players thought otherwise.
It’s good we stay together. We should have more respect for good things in the future and abide by what’s fair. There has not been any problem in the past. Nor there was any problem in Berlin. I hope this is so in Greece, either in the Peace and Friendship Stadium or in OAKA”.
DUSAN IVKOVIC: It’s a good idea to be here together just before the Final Four. Both teams deserved qualifying. We did our best to get ready and I believe we are going to play good basketball.
We are a good example (i.e. Obradovic and Ivkovic) and I believe that. The players are also in good terms with one another and I think that soon the doors will also open for the fans.
Giorgos Printezis: “What’s important is who gets to be on a good day. We have built some solid foundation as a team, we have to stick by it and maybe we win”.
Kostas Papanikolaou: "The important thing is to enjoy the game. We don’t need to feel any stress. We have worked really well. These games are decided by heart and will. We have proved we have a heart and we are going to do our best”.
Sarunas Jasikevicius: "Details are really important because they decide games. We have a strategic plan and we have to stick to it”.
Stratos Perperoglou: "These are games that need a lot of focus. We are going to give our best and we shouldn’t even let one loose ball”.