Bartzokas: «The sold-out is an extra motivation»

Olympiacos will be hosting the European Champion Anadolu Efes tomorrow at the sold-out SEF (03/02, 20:00 CET), aiming to get the win that will keep the team at the top of the ranking.

“We have played quite a few good games, some of them we have won with wide differences, and some others not with so big differences, but we have always played according to plan”, was the initial position of the ‘red & whites’ coach Giorgos Bartzokas when asked whether his team’s performance against Fenerbahce had been their best this season. “That was a game we got to shoot well. Of course, we created the opportunities to shoot. The important thing is to win even if you don’t shoot that successfully. You can’t always have 55% with threes. We are certainly coming from a very good performance and it is certain that we were missing two very important players. The problem is that it’s 99% certain we are going to be missing the same two players in the game against Efes, so we are going to have to do again a little more than what we usually do to win”.

Talking about the game against Efes, he said: “We had lost the game in Istanbul, despite having controlled it for thirty minutes. They are a team that you can never allow yourself to deviate from your game plan even for a little. If you are not focused on both ends of the floor, they have so much offensive talent that you’re either going to get exposed or lose momentum. So, we are going to have to be completely focused for forty minutes to do what we want. Our opponent is a very good team. We are very well aware of how good their shooters, forwards, centers are… Now Singleton is on the rotation, for whom I have great respect. I think we have to realize that it’s not a matter of prestige, but rather one of focus, want and will. The motivation is a given and when you play against Efes and when the gym is also sold-out. We want to play well and win. It remains to be seen if we are ready enough 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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