By Antonis Stroggilakis/ email@example.com
“Congratulations to the players for the win and congratulations for getting the home-court advantage,” said the Greek coach who analyzed the game and also express his concern about the fans.
As he explained: “In the end, we used our concentration and our experience and did what we had to do to win the game. I want to thank the fans who supported the team tonight. Tonight we had the most important game of the season, because of this win we have home-court advantage, which is what we fought for the whole season. And if we had a bad result tonight we would have had problems. Unfortunately, the gym was not full. Now we secured home-court in the playoffs, and if gym will be empty, it will mean nothing. Home-court is something, but can be nothing, because if you remember last season, we had home-court against the same team we played tonight, Efes. We won the first game easily, and the second one we lost at home. Then we had problems, we were down 1-2, played with our backs to the wall. Luckily, we won Game 4, brought the series back here, and won it 3-2. I am saying it because I see a lot of enthusiasm around the team, but we must be very careful and very ready because the playoffs will not be easy. Playoff games are completely different than the regular season games. All the teams have chances to qualify for the Final Four, and this is what they will fight for. So yes, we need to stay focused, and work hard because we need one more step, get through the playoffs, to get to the Final Four. Some fans think we are already in the Final Four, and it is a mistake to think that way”.
Coach Ergin Ataman added from his side: “It is difficult to motivate players for this kind of a game without a goal. For this reason, we did not start the game so aggressive and in the first quarter, we allowed 30 points, especially against pick-and-rolls with Spanoulis, where our defense was very soft. After that first quarter, we started to play and came back to the game. We improved our defense and stopped the first action of their pick-and-roll offense. The same way in the second half. We had a chance to win, but Olympiacos needed it more than us and they made the shots in the last minutes and won the game. Good luck to Olympiacos in the playoffs.”
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