By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The Croatian coach simply admitted that his team was outplayed by an opponent who was more than ready for the playoffs.
As Spahija said: “I would like to congratulate Baskonia for the win and for mathematically qualifying for the playoffs. I think that, overall, we played a pretty solid game. We put them in trouble, but to win here against Baskonia, you have to play better basketball. We have to make shots and we missed a lot. We missed many open shots, free throws and if you want to play at this level, to win the game, you simply have to do better, and we didn’t do that tonight. We prepared the game well, but like I said, if you want to beat this team, one of the best in Europe, you need to score a bit more. We hit 6 of 13 free throws, missed some open shots and they hit a three-point shot in the final second [of the first quarter]. We had three consecutive turnovers, two of Norris and one by Jonah Bolden, and it was hard for us after that. Baskonia is a tough, physical team with a deep roster in which everyone can play.”
Coach Pedro Martinez from his side, is trying not to think about the playoffs: “We have to beat Efes next week – we cannot think much further. Obviously, we are happy for being in the playoffs, among the eight best teams in Europe, in such a tough competition that we play alongside the Spanish League, which is also very tough. It was a difficult road, so we have to be happy and now, try to rank as high as we can, and win the next game to at least consolidate the seventh spot. We will fight for the sixth spot, too, if we win the next game. We are happy for the club, the team and if I have to congratulate some today, it would be my assistant coaches and technical staff for their great job this season. They worked backstage for many, many hours and it looks like it is not important, but it is. If we managed to be one of the best eight teams in Europe, it is because of them.”
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