By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarunas Marciulionis talking to the Spanish magazine Skyhook said that Greeks attempted to bribe players of the Soviet Union national team prior to the gold medal game of the 1987 EuroBasket versus Greece. Panagiotis Fasoulas shot down his comments via a post on Facebook.
“The Greeks did offer us money but none of us accepted,” mentioned Marciulionis, “The move itself cast doubt on our team. The problem was between us, due to our poor communication. If the coach had gathered all of us requesting our thoughts on what had happened, we would have crushed the Greeks, I am sure. Instead, we did nothing, remained confused and lost. Now, I can jokingly argue that we contributed to the early development of Greek basketball without even getting paid.”
Greece had prevailed, 103-101, in the championship game to capture its first international title. Both Fasoulas and Marciulionis were part of the All-Tournament Team alongside MVP Nikos Galis, Alexander Volkov, and Andres Jimenez. That success proved the first of many more for Greek basketball in the following years.
Fasoulas, 57, recalled more allegations made back in 1987 in his lengthy post.
It would have never crossed my mind that there is so much pettiness in the soul of such a great athlete like you.
Ever since the first days following the Greek team’s triumph in ’87, we were being slandered by you guys as a team spreading false allegations that we used performance-enhancing illegal drugs. This was followed by the racist comment made by your coach who characterized us as “Mauritanians”.
You should not lose sight of the fact that in the Eurobasket that took place in Athens, the national team of Greece prevailed before beating the USSR team. We were victorious twice over the United then Yugoslavia which included some of the best basketball players in the world, at the time. You should also remember that in the Zagreb ’89 Eurobasket, USSR lost to Greece once again.
I am willing to understand that the losses of the country which you then played for, caused serious cracks on the face of the athletic superpower, especially coming from a rising basketball country like Greece. I would never believe that all this would cause and develop so many issues for you, that 34 years later you came out with these hideous lies, and as a result we have to suffer the aftermath of them. I imagine that this incident in ’87 you are referring to went… “unnoticed” by the USSR officials who were escorting your team.
They say that the value of the losing opponent adds glory to the winner. Unfortunately, you managed to spoil it, three and a half decades later.
Kind and Athletic regards,