By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Coach Dimitris Itoudis took over CSKA in 2014 leading the team to the Final Four five straight times and to a title in 2016. He noted after Game 4 against Baskonia that it’s hard to keep winning constantly and that this season has been a bit different than the previous as people started doubting them. Itoudis believes that has been the key factor for them late in the season as it gave his players extra motivation:
“The key was that my team was very motivated since the moment this year when people stopped believing in us. When people are flattering us, saying we are the best, the favorite, you are unbeaten or something, even though I’m working on it, it gets under their skin and they subconsciously think we are unbeatable. But when people stopped believing in us, that’s when we started to believe. That’s when we said to bring us more doubters, more haters, more whatever. We have a great group of competitors, we have a great group of winners. And if we stay healthy, we can make the impossible possible”, he said.
On the other side, coach Velimir Perasovic wished good luck to CSKA and believes his squad gave everything they have but just didn’t have enough energy to turn things around: “Congratulations to CSKA for qualification, I believe it is well deserved. We just didn’t have enough fuel in the tank in the last two games here at home. The players have tried everything they can and they deserve every respect for it. Right at the end, you could see they weren’t fresh enough and the shots weren’t going in in the last quarter. I’m Happy in general with the way we played and good luck to CSKA.”