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Bartzokas: “We have to try hard against Unicaja”

Olympiacos is hosting Unicaja (20:00 CET) for the fifth round of the TOP-16 and Giorgos Bartzokas stressed that his team should make a tough effort to win the game.

Olympiacos is hosting Unicaja (20:00 CET) for the fifth round of the TOP-16 and Giorgos Bartzokas stressed that his team should make a tough effort to win the game.

“No-one on the team has any delusions about what the TOP-16 means. Everyone can beat anyone else. The victory in Vitoria is already forgotten. Tomorrow it’s going to take us a huge effort to beat a very serious team. We beat them twice in the Regular season but with an effort. Each game is different. This is our philosophy. We have been better following our crisis time and injuries, in both quality and quantity and this makes us especially optimistic. Petway, Moon and Collins are getting better every day. Unicaja plays in very intense rhythms and with a pressing defense. They won’t be having Calloway but this doesn’t mean anything. We have to leave Panathinaikos behind us. We are all getting prepared to play any kind of game. There are games that we have won with small scoring and others with a wide one. We like to run because we are good at it. If you want my opinion, running needs all the more talent. That’s basketball nowadays. Athletic and with many players in the rotation.

Since Mr. Ivkovic built this team as well as us that continued after him last season, we have shown what the system in Europe is by now. We’ll be answering about Panathinaikos when we face them again. We are playing the most contemporary European basketball and we have proved that. Each game is particular. The crisis was due to injuries that took place during a very critical period in the games. In general, with Petway’s return and the addition of Moon practices have been better, Collins is gradually coming into shape and is making us better. There has definitely been a crisis and this is inevitable in such a big team. We have discussed that with our most experienced player, Spanoulis, on the way from Barcelona to Bilbao. Any team that going “flight” mode, lost at the end. Teams that don’t go through some rough patches get surprised at the most difficult time. If we manage to get out of this unharmed everything is going to be OK. We are moving ahead and we’ll see what happens at the end.

What you practice is present on the court. We are very well aware that our task is not going to be easy tomorrow. Our fans need to understand that. Whatever happens, win or lost, we need to put right behind us. Some people thought that by winning three games in Greece we have the situation under control. Things are not like that. What matters is the shape you are going to be in when you play games that decide a qualification or a title. We only aim at the next game. Having won the Euroleague, we definitely aim to make the play-offs. This is a realistic and sincere target. From that point on, if we make it, we are going to try and qualify, regardless of home court advantage. No team can say anything more than that, since it’s still early” the Greek coach of the Back2Back European Champions has stated.

BRENT PETWAY: “It has been hard to watch and not being able to help my team. We need to do what we have done against Laboral Kutxa in Vitoria. We have to remain focused, be aggressive in our defense and defense. We have to fight for every ball. It’s tough to play against the same team many times in the season and beat it. We have already played twice against Unicaja and have won both times. This fact makes tomorrow’s game even more difficult. Each Unicaja player will want to prove something”.