Olympiacos was defeated for a second time in the play-offs final because he didn’t find the way to cope with the storm of free throws hit by Panathinaikos.
Dusan Ivkovic’ ‘reds’ were exquisite in the first half and led 43-37 although the difference in free throws hit by the two teams was 20-4!
The Olympiacos players led by Vassilis Spanoulis and with Mavrokefalides and Bourousis on a great day, imposed their rhythm and completely controlled the game, but…
In the second half, the Panathinaikos players started hitting target from further than the free throw range and finally made 2-0.
Τhe quarters: 12-19, 37-43, 60-58, 78-66
Per quarter: 12-19, 25-24, 23-15, 18-8.
Panathinaikos (Obradovic): Τepic, Maric 4, Batiste 19, Fotsis 5(1), Sato 7(1), Nikolas 9(2), Τsartsaris 6, Diamantides 15(1), Vougioukas 2, Calathes 9(1), Kaimakoglou 2.
Οlympiacos (Ivkovic): Papaloukas 3(1), Gordon 11(1), Spanoulis 14(2), Printezis, Bourousis 12, Κeselj, Μavrokefalides 14, Halperin, Glyniadakis 5, Papanikolaou 2, Erceg 3(1), Τeodosic 2.
DUSAN IVKOVIC: “We played two completely different halves. It’s not a shame to lose to the European Champion and I congratulate them, as I always have. The first half ended with 20-4 free throws. I believe my players have been undisciplined, but I ask you this, with this kind of officiating, if my friend Itoudes was to be a ref, what would he have done? It was as if the ref Psarianos had his arm in cast and was always pointing at the same direction. This officiating was not worthy of the level that teams of the likes of Panathinaikos and Olympiacos play. Christodoulou is a high class ref, but Psarianos had his arm in cast…
I don’t want to make trouble in view of the next game and maybe expect the refs to help me. Is it possible that you don’t call an obvious change of court for Fotsis at a final? Should I be changing my glasses? I told the refs they should be ashamed and I got a technical foul. I’m not responsible for the officiating. My players started talking too much and lost focus. My players had been undisciplined in the first game as well and I take responsibility for that being their coach”.
VASSILIS SPANOULIS: “The game was decided at details. We were very good in the first twenty minutes, focused. We came here to win. We had known that the third is Panathinaikos good quarter. That’s where we got carried away by Panathinaikos defense and lost.
We are going to fight and get the championship. We believe in the team. We are also players and are playing the game as well. I don’t want to be talking about the referees. But it just can’t be that we have so many good creators and we only got to shoot 9 free throws, while Panathinaikos shot 31. That gave them confidence. I wish we had been called the same fouls in our favor in the Peace and Friendship Stadium. Maybe I did not react so well in the incident with Tsartsaris. I am friends with Kostas. We lose our temper at times too. Our players are afraid to play defense. But we are also players”.