By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After almost 48 frantic hours, Antonis Fotsis, Chris Singleton, Mike James and Kenny Gabriel remain members of the team under coach Xavi Pascual.
The club issued the following press release, trying to explain the whole situation: “The decision to return by bus from Istanbul is not related to the defeat and the missed chance to qualify to the EuroLeague Final Four. It’s a result of continuing incidents of lack of discipline and professionalism by some players and ultimately a result of the indifference and unconditional surrender of some players at Game 3. We hope that we will not have to take again similar measures in the future.
– Athletes should be aware that as they have demands from the club, they have also obligations towards the team, its history and fans, who have supported them all this time by filling the OAKA arena twice within three days. Unfortunately, none of the athletes felt obliged to apologize to those fans and also to the administration, which in difficult times still spends millions of euros to keep the team at the top.
– Antonis Fotsis, Chris Singleton, Mike James and Kenny Gabriel refused to follow the team and travel by bus. Their refusal to obey the decision of the club, among other things, resulted to negative publicity internationally for the club by presenting it to be split. With this attitude, they have been proved to function as units and not as a family. Panathinaikos is a great club and can’t justify and tolerate such individual reactions. As everyone, regardless of performance or participation, benefits from a success, everyone will also have to bear the consequences of failures.
– After the meeting between the management and coach, Mr. Xavi Pascual, which was completed a while ago, due to his desire to win another title, the respect we have towards our fans and as well towards the contracts of the four athletes, it was jointly decided not to release them. However we reserve the right to consider the penalty which will be imposed immediately. The four athletes will continue to play for the club until the end of the season.
For everyone in the Panathinaikos family, this incident belongs to the past and we will fight for the championship title”.