By Kostas Giataganas / firstname.lastname@example.org
Panathinaikos head coach Giorgos Vovoras spoke Eurohooops during the EuroLeague media day availability about the challenges of being at the helm of the team, the experience he gained as an assistant coach, as well as the departure of Nick Calathes from the team and what it means for the new era of Panathinaikos.
“It’s a huge challenge and a chance for me. Being on Panathinaikos’ bench is a huge honor for all head coaches in Europe and especially for me after all these years in the club. I’ve grown up in Athens, knowing Panathinaikos’ greatness. It’s a huge challenge for me to work for it every day, in order to show competitiveness on the court, bring joy to our fans, and achieve our goals”, tells Vovoras.
He also referred to the legacy of Panathinaikos’ former coaches Xavi Pascual, Argyris Pedoulakis and Rick Pitino, having worked side by side with all three.
“They are three coaches with different philosophies. I’ve been working with coach Pedoulakis since 2010, I’ve learned so much from him in regards to the way of thinking, the view of the sport, though I think he has also helped me on a greater note than just basketball. Then I had the chance to work with two incredible coaches”, he mentioned.
“Coach Pascual has proven his credentials all around Europe. He has won the EuroLeague and he’s a greatly successful coach. Those who have been beside him have gained a lot. He’s methodical, very organized in every practice, every game”, said Vovoras. “Then coach Pitino, a world-class coach. Our day to day interaction helped me in the way I approach the sport. He first worked with a player’s mind, then with his body on the court”.
Panathinaikos will play its first season without former star Nick Calathes and Vovoras explains the new era after the captain’s departure.
“This turn of the page will take time, but now Panathinaikos will play a different style of basketball. More players will have to actively participate in the creation and on the offensive end. This will take more teamwork, more attention to detail, in order for it to show on the court. On the other hand, I think it will be tougher for any team to play against a team that has scorers in more than three positions”.
He then commented about the possibility of an addition in the course of the season, ruling out such an option.
“It’s a transition period for Panathinaikos. Without Dimitris Giannakopoulos we have a very specific budget. We made our choices and created a solid team. We work with the players and we want to see their evolution during the season. I think our roster is full. With a budget as low, we chose players that can play in more than just one position, in order to fill in some gaps, though our teamwork will make these invisible and to turn to our advantage as the season progresses”.