By Aris Barkas / email@example.com
SHENZEN– Greece coach Thanasis Skourtopoulos commented on the two controversial calls for offensive fouls on team star Giannis Antetokounmpo in the game against the Czech Republic.
The “Greek Freak” picked up his third foul, a charging one, late in the first half and was then fouled out after being called with another offensive foul with five minutes remaining and his team up 57 – 67. Greece beat the Czech team 84 – 77 but was eliminated, since they needed a 12+ margin to advance.
“Giannis came to help us. He fights every day on the court. Not only during the games. But of course, he doesn’t get the respect he wants. And I’m talking about the two [offensive] fouls he received today, the third and fifth. You can’t call this kind of fouls on these players,” Skourtopoulos said.
Skourtopoulos, who took responsibility for his team’s elimination, proceeded to talk about the officiating when it came to the referees’ approach not only to Giannis but also Nick Calathes. The latter finished the match with 27 points.
“I can use a better example: Nick Calathes plays 37 minutes. He has the ball in his hands all the time. He wins one foul. If someone can explain this? The guy drives all the time. They push him two times when he makes the layup, no one reacts. About Giannis… it’s the same. We can make a video with more than 25 clips to see how when they trap him they use four or five hands over him all the time. If they can do that, I’m with them.”
Thanasis Antetokounmpo who was also on the press conference added: “Some times there are factors in a game that you simply can’t control”.
Skourtopoulos began his post-game presser by congratulating the Czech team for the victory.
“I would like to congratulate the Czech team. They deserved to go to the next round. They have played very well in the tournament and I wish them good luck. I would like to congratulate my players also. They are very good in this cooperation. I’m sorry because we disappointed a lot of fans in Greece and the friends who came here to support us. But we made the best we could, I think. This is it.”
Photo credit: FIBA.Basketball