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«Important tournament”

Giorgos Bartzokas and Giorgos Printezis explained the importance of the Rixos Cup tournament for Olympiacos, which is taking place in Istanbul from September 24 to 27.

Giorgos Bartzokas and Giorgos Printezis explained the importance of the Rixos Cup tournament for Olympiacos, which is taking place in Istanbul from September 24 to 27.

The Piraeus team arrived at Istanbul this morning in order to play three strong friendly games. During the Press Conference for the presentation of the tournament, Giorgos Bartzokas and Giorgos Printezis represented Olympiacos.

The Press Conference began with a statement by the executive manager of the Rixos Hotels, Vasak Erel, who commented: “Rixos Cup began in Antalya and was immediately embraced by basketball fans. We hope to have even more attending this year. Rixos Cup has up to now hosted 350 players from 24 teams and 14 countries. This year’s Rixos Cup will be broadcast live from NTV Sport, which is very important to us”.

On his part, Giorgos Bartzokas had to say “It is a very significant tournament for us. We are going to have some of our internationals with us that have been missing pre-season up to now. There are seven new players with us and these friendly games are going to help us with chemistry and as to see how we function all together”.

Giorgos Printezis was asked about the importance of the tournament for the European Champions and said: “the truth is that time is pressing on us. These friendly games are going to help us a lot with making team chemistry and see where we stand as a team. They are also going to be a guide for the philosophy we are going to follow in the future”.

The coach of Budivelnik Ainars Bagatskis said that “these friendly games are going to work as really strong practices for us in view of the Ukranian Cup that starts next week”, while the guard of the Ukranian team, Ricky Minard commented that “it’s great feeling for me to be coming back to Istanbul and experience an all basketball week”.

Oktay Mahmuti was next. The Anadolu Efes coach said that “it’s a tournament with teams of excellent quality and the games are going to be fun to watch. It’s going to be a good chance for our players to work on the chemistry, to gain experience and go through a strong test before the beginning of the season”. On his part, the Turkish team point guard Zoran Planinic said that “we have worked a lot up to now and I expect that we put some of what we have worked on the floor. I’m very happy to be playing for the Rixos Cup facing some great quality teams”.

Zelkjko Obradovic, coach of Fenerbahce/Ulker, said that “it’s the first time I coach such a youthful team. We have had some injuries and we are missing nine players. It’s the first time in my career that I’m going to start playing friendly games with practically zero pre-season. The captain of Fenerbahce/Ulker Omer Onan agreed with his coach that Fener is a young team, but he also supported the notion that the Turkish team is going to have a good season: “I think that despite the fact that we have a lot of young people on the roster, we are going to do well”.

The coach of Besiktas Ahmet Kantemir said to be extremely happy that the tournament includes many Euroleague teams: “We are very happy to be hosting teams of the highest level, Euroleague teams, as well as Eurocup ones. We are a youthful team, full of energy and I think that we are quite ready in comparison to other teams for these games. We invite all basketball fans to come to the Besiktas Integral Arena and watch these exciting games”.  

The tournament program for Olympiacos:

Τuesday 24/9 Olympiacos-Budivelnik 20:15
Thursday 26/9 Anadolu Efes-Olympiacos 18:00
Friday 27/9 against one of Fenerbahce/Ulker, Besiktas, Zalgiris Kaunas