By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The gloves are off already in Euroleague play offs and that’s not something new. See what happened last night between Vasilis Spanoulis and Rudy Fernandez, as the star of Real Madrid in his career night is trying a little big harder than expected in order to stop the Reds’ captain.
Spanoulis exchanged some words with him, probably because of the push after the whistle blow and the somehow awkward knee position of Real’s forward. There’s no love here, as you can see from this – really tame – flagrant foul from last Euroleague final.
For the last ten years, Spain and Greece are among the top contenders in the club and national team competitions in Europe and the games between them have a long history. The Spaniards are accused of being floppers, the Greeks for playing more than physical defense and the referees in the middle have a very tough job to do.
The biggest example? Eurobasket 2007 semifinal in Madrid, in the same venue that Real Madrid uses a its home court. Greece was the defending Eurobasket champion, Spain the reigning World Champion and one year ago they have beaten Greece in the Mundobasket final.
In the end Spain prevailed – Russia got the win in the final but that’s an other story – and the fight between Diamantidis and Navarro at the end of the third quarter was a major turning point in the game.
But guess who other got into a “heated” argument about a call that may or may not have been a flop by a usual suspect.
So get ready, because we expect the road in the series between Real Madrid and Olympiacos to get even more bumpy.
UPDATE: Coach Bartzokas said during the last Olympiacos practice: “We have seen what we expected from Real Madrid. Speed, quality, motive and flopping. Real is a great club, deserves our respect, but there is also that part of its game. We had a special session for that with out players. For example Reyes fell down at least 30 times”.