Defeat at overtime...

Olympiacos was defeated in the fourth play-offs final 101-94 at overtime, but basketball was the lesser issue of the game. Olympiacos was defeated in the fourth play-offs final 101-94 at overtime, but basketball was the lesser issue of the game.

The ‘reds’ played with heart from the beginning to the end, although what was happening in the gym would not allow such a thing, and should they have been a little calmer at the end of the regulation (1/4 free throws) the outcome would have been different.

What followed the game with the invasion of the Panathinaikos fans in the court and their attack on the member of the ‘red’ delegation are the things that should cause for skepticism.

Vangelis Angelou, Giannis Bourousis, Zoran Erceg, Kostas Papanikolaou and Matt Nielsen were hit, while inside the tunnel there have been fire crackers exploding.

Τhe quarters: 17-18, 41-39, 60-61, 83-83, 101-94 (overtime)
Per quarter: 17-18, 24-21, 19-22, 23-22, 18-11 (overtime)
Referees: Piloeides, Tanatzis, Karakatsounis
Panathinaikos (Ζelimir Obradovic): Τepic, Μaric 5, Perperoglou, Batiste 22 (11ρ.), Fotsis 22 (6/6), Sato 9, Nikolas 9 (1), Τsartsaris 1, Diamantides, Vougioukas 6, Calathes 16, Κaimakoglou 11 (1)
Οlympiacos (Dusan Ivkovic): Papaloukas 7 (1), Gordon 2, Spanoulis 18 (4), Printezis 11 (1), Bourousis 16 (10ρ.), Κeselj, Pelekanos 5 (1), Mavrokefalides 12, Halperin 9 (1), Glyniadakis 4, Εrceg 2, Τeodosic 8 (2)

The quotes…

It was a very good and tough game and our team had been ready. We lasted through the game, which was decided by details. If you take a look at the statistics, Panathinaikos was very good and it was very unlikely that they lose. I only have one complaint from my players, about their defense. Batiste and Fotsis made a great game and my players lost the rebounds that were 16-3 in favor of the opposing team.

I told my players that they are giving us the game and we cannot take it. I cannot understand how come and my players, even during the second game, when we were playing well and were leading, still managed to mess their psychology. What saddens me is that if you want to play as a team, then you have to play good defense. Fotsis and Batiste were great, but Panathinaikos got 16 offensive rebounds against 3 of our own. Should we have controlled that, the game would have a different ending.

I told my players that someone is giving us the game and we don’t know how to take it. Of course the tradition had been against us but I cannot even understand how come we had an amazing first half in the second game and right after that our key players went missing. We have all been witnessing the upsets in the finals. We say that we are under pressure, but I don’t know what kind of pressure this is. We have had a good psychology, but it has not been enough, despite having won the home court advantage.

TEO PAPALOUKAS: Tonight, we played a final we had badly wanted to win. Unfortunately, at exactly the point when we should have projected a winners’ psychology, we did not do so. I personally want to apologize to my team mates, my coaches and mostly to the Olympiacos fans for the missed free throws. Should I had made them, we would have won. I take it as a personal defeat and I apologize to everyone. Tonight we had the chance to make up for the defeat in the first game, but we did not manage to tie the series, although we had the chance.

It’s psychologically tough when you are the second and want to find yourself in the top spot. We lost focus, and did not listen to what our coach had been telling us, that the game is over when the ref calls it over. I’m shaking after losing the game, I have played numerous finals but tonight’s defeat hurt me a lot and I take much of the blame. We did not manage to take the game. Such games are decided by details and we were missing them. We lost our concentration and it’s logical to be under a little more pressure than our opponent, but this makes winning the championship even greater.

ΖELIMIR OBRADOVIC: I believe that tonight’s game was a very special one and a very good one at the same time. Both teams have had the chance to win. It was exciting to watch. We both made mistakes nevertheless.

Diamantides getting injured had been a very critical factor for us. However, the way Calathes played the game was as if there was another Diamantides.  

It’s incredible that he played 42 minutes and whenever I was telling him to get out he was telling me he was fine and that he wanted to play. He was the leader of the team and not only scoring wise. Fotsis was also incredible; he was another hero for our team and made exceptionally great shots. He was amazing.

Our … youngest player on the team was also excellent, Batiste. The age of the player is a non-issue. What’s important is for the player to be enjoying what he’s doing and that shows in his game.

I made reference to three names, but the title belongs to all my players. I’m just sad because Diamantides, who had been incredible during the season, got injured and was not able to help us in this game. Olympiacos is a great team and has shown during all of the series that they have class.

What happened at the end is ugly though. I have said 100 times that we cannot win titles without our fans. I’m proud when an atmosphere like tonight’s is created. But, just like any other time, there have people to use laser beams. It’s a shame. They deprive us of the chance to celebrate and enjoy the title.

I have mixed feelings. I’m happy for the players and the fans, but I’m also upset with those charging on the court and breaking the game. The same happened in the Peace and Friendship Stadium and every year it’s the same situation.

But I think it’s only proper to talk about our fans and I’m disappointed. The rest of the fans have to understand and stop them. I and the team don’t have the power to do it.

It was the end of the '30s when the Olympiacos Basketball team was founded with players form the "Ionidio" School. Great personalities of Greek basketball wore the 'red' shirt, coaches wrote history, victories came and Olympiacos played a leading role inside and outside the Greek borders.

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