If we win by 1-point I’ll be satisfied: Euroleague Final 4 coaches, players talk ahead of semis

May 23, 2024 | Holyland Hoops

The Euroleague Final Four is about to get underway on Friday when Panathinaikos and Fenerbahce will do battle in the first semifinal while Real Madrid and Olympiacos will tip-off in the night cap. Prior to the games, the coaches as well as a player from each team spoke at the annual press conference that kicks off the weekend.

Chus Mateo, Real Madrid Coach
“We are pleased to be here at yet another Final 4. The most important thing is for us to understand how to win against our opponents, we have a very big game against a great team in Olympiacos and we have great respect for them. We are not defending a title. We are in a new tournament and right now we have a semifinal coming up as we respect our opponents.”

Edy Tavares
“We have a lot of experience to have guys that can lead us when we have the tough moments, we have a team that wants to win another trophy but we have to focus on the future and not the past.”

Georgios Bartzokas, Olympiacos coach
“We are super motivated to be in the Final 4 and to be one of the best four teams to be here. We are excited to be here against Real Madrid and we have a group of fighters who will do the best for our team. We have a group of people on and off of the court that has transferred the mentality of the club.

Kostas Papanikolau
“This is a weekend of sports and basketball and that’s what the focus should be on, we need to do the simple stuff and follow the coach’s plan while enjoying the Final Four experience.”

“There is always pressure when you come and play the final four and you want to be the team that wants to win it. It’s two games to get to the title.”

We just got to be ourselves and we will play against Madrid who are the strongest team but they are not undefeated. We respect them a lot and we have a group of guys that are sticking together and we have no fear playing against any opponent.”

“It’s really important for Greek basketball to have two reps at the final four and it’s good for the youth to get involved with the game of basketball.”

Ergin Ataman, Panathinaikos
“I believe the history of the club that PAO is one of the biggest and greatest clubs in European basketball. I want that all of our supporters to enjoy this and experience.”

“I think that this is not a national team competition and a European competition. As a Turk I am the coach of a Greek team and I don’t think that this is important. We are playing a semifinal against Fenerbahce which will be a tough game. I have big emotions as I won the cup twice and my goal is to win it again but 8 do know that my colleagues have the same goal.”

“I promise to bring the 7th star to OAKA.”

Kostas Sloukas
“I’m happy and proud of my teammates and club. PAO deserves to be here and we have to be humble and motivated and hungry to win the trophy.”

“It’s about how much you want to win, how you use your fouls and all of the small things. Luck is part of the game and I hope that we will have that in the game.”

“It’s something incredible for Greek basketball fans that two teams are playing at the highest of levels. I’m happy that I made the decision and it was for motivation which has been following me my entire career.”

Saras Jasikevicius, Fenerbahce coach
“The coaches have a tougher job leading up to the final four with so many responsibilities and basketball. The players have to come and play well which we hope will be what we will do by putting good performances on the court.”

“You can’t think further than the next day and next practice, you identify the few goals that you want to reach. We have an experienced group and we didn’t place any big expectations on ourselves where we will try and try and try and out the product on the court and hope that things work out.”

“I think we will come and try to do our best, we didn’t expect some of the records to be hit and it was only after they happened we understood. But we are here to win by one point and I would be satisfied to win by 1-point.”

“One badly made rebound can make a difference and in life you have to give yourself an opportunity after a tough series against Monaco just like the other 3 teams that are here.”

Nigel Hayes-Davis
Coach said we have to play our best, none of us are undefeated here and anyone can be beaten on any night. Hopefully we can put on our best performance.”

The most important thing is to enjoy where you are and we don’t take that for granted that we are here, these games come down to the small details. The rebounds, the loose balls and when you go to sleep in two years you’ll remember things.”

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