By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
In a relaxed and friendly atmosphere before the big battle, Giannis Sfairopoulos, Giorgos Printezis, Pablo Laso and Gustavo Ayon were present for the press conference ahead of the big final. So friendly that even… Steve Giatzoglou was mentioned.
The Greek coach stole the show, when in a question directed to Laso regarding how you can stop Spanoulis, he took the floor: “Steve Giatzoglou (ed.note: former player of Olympiacos and coach) used to say that in order to stop Galis you had to lock him in the locker room.” Laso smiled: “Good question. Spanoulis is Olympiacos’s leader. He has the talent and the quality to get the big shots at the end. I can stop Spanoulis, put five players on him, but then this guy (Printezis) will kill me. Basketball is a team sport.”
Sfairopoulos attributed the hosts with the title of the favorites: “We know that this team was built to win the title, they are playing at home in their hometown. But we know how to confront favorites, as was demonstrated not only in yesterday’s semifinal, but in other cases as well. We have the quality and the experience, we believe in our team.”
Printezis explained once more why Olympiacos never quits: “What we learned is that a game is not over before the final buzzer. A game lasts 40 minutes, there are many examples. I’m lucky to have teammates like Spanoulis and Sloukas, who can handle the pressure. And everyone knows how much pressure there is in Greece. It’s not only a matter of luck, but of character.”
At the same time, Laso spoke about the demands on Real: “From the first day I came at the team, I knew that it was a big responsibility. When we won the Cup after 19 years, the president told me to get the championship. The demands are great in this club. I’m proud of my players’ work. We’re not thinking so much about what the football department is doing. I don’t agree that they didn’t have a good season. In any case, I’m thinking of my own team.”
The young Gustavo Ayon stressed: “The other players’ experience will definitely help us. For me it’s a new experience, but I think I can contribute. I’ve worked well. Everyone’s talking about the lost finals but I’m hoping the result will be different. From the moment I came to the team everyone is talking about winning the Euroleague. Our team wants it and so do our people.”