Giorgos Bartzokas points to team ‘culture’ after Greek Cup triumph

2024-02-19T16:07:16+00:00 2024-02-19T16:07:16+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

19/Feb/24 16:07

Winning Greece’s OPAP Final 8 highlights the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague break for Olympiacos

By Johnny Askounis/

Effective defense did the trick for Olympiacos in the championship game of Greece’s OPAP Final 8 in Iraklio on Sunday.

Talking to Eurohoops and Vaggelis Ioannou, head coach Giorgos Bartzokas discussed a defensive battle emerging between his side and Panathinaikos Aktor and the most important success of the Reds.

Panathinaikos is very improved in defense. Many of their players can work together effectively in defense,” mentioned the Greek tactician, “But they also struggled against our defense.”

Limiting the Greens to 58 points certainly led to the 12th Greek Cup in team history and the third in a row. Bartzokas relying on unusual lineups in the second half was combined with pulling away into a safe distance.

“Every single player can be important if you build such a culture in a team,” he described, “I think that is our biggest success, building a culture where any player performing well will play more, regardless of his name and contract.”

On the opposite end, Panathinaikos fell short in the derby of eternal enemies. “In this game, Olympiacos played better than us and they deserved to win this Cup,” confessed the losing head coach Ergin Ataman in the postgame press conference, “Our main goal is the EuroLeague and to win the Greek league title.”

More meetings between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos are coming up in both the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and Greece’s Stoiximan Basket League. “This result does not count for the next games,” Bartzokas told Eurohoops referring to future derbies.

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