Hezonja assumes full responsibility for Madrid’s loss in EuroLeague Final

2024-05-27T04:37:15+00:00 2024-05-28T15:15:24+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

27/May/24 04:37


Mario Hezonja took himself the blame for Real Madrid losing the final to Panathinaikos

By Antonis Stroggylakis / info@eurohoops.net

BERLIN– Real Madrid forward Mario Hezonja took the entire share of the blame for Real Madrid‘s loss to Panathinaikos Athens in the EuroLeague championship game.

“We didn’t collapse. I just lost us a game. I lost us the game and I lost us a championship,” Hezonja told Eurohoops. He finished the game with 1 out of 7 three-pointers, the reason he felt so accountable for the defeat.

Real Madrid began the game in fantastic fashion, scoring 36 points in the first period against Panathinaikos‘ 25. They moved up even 41 – 27 early in the second quarter but then everything went downhill for them.

After Real saw Panathinaikos approach 54 – 49 at halftime, they had a mere seven points in the third quarter while the Greens became the one sitting at the driver’s seat.

Among various aspects of the game that hurt Real’s otherwise impressively fluid offense – the top in EuroLeague – was an almost inexplicable shooting slump from afar. Players of the Blancos known for their ability to bury threes, like Hezonja and Dzanan Musa, were missing wide open shots, one after the other and their team gradually began getting more and more out of tune.

Real ultimately finished the game with 11 – 36 threes. A major contrast to Panathinaikos’ 12 – 22.

“It was not their defense,” Hezonja mentioned when asked why his team didn’t manage to respond to Panathinaikos when they pumped up the volume of their aggressiveness. “It’s us. I couldn’t make us a shot the whole tournament, I don’t know why. It’s the ball, the rim, me. I don’t know. But I just lost us a game, I lost us a championship.”

Hezonja had finished the EuroLeague regular season with 14.0 points as a member of the 50 – 40 – 90 club while also posting 4.4 rebounds.

In the Final Four he had 4 – 18 from beyond the arc. The Croatian player had set the tone in the semifinal vs. Olympiacos with a 3 – 3 entrance but went 1 – 15 in his following attempts.

“It’s called basketball. You have to make baskets to win the game so we didn’t do that and you see,” Hezonja added.