“Off to fight!”

The mistakes committed by the team, mistakes on which it must focused on and a better progress on Thursday’s encounter were the main reference points in all Argyris Pedoulakis stated at the Press Conference after the game. The Panathinaikos Head Coach made sure to set the tone also: “We are off to fight for the win in Barcelona”.

“It was a bad game for us. From the first quarter we lost our concentration, made turnovers as easily in both front and backcourt. Essentially they allowed the midway shot and tried to cut Dimitris Diamantidis entirely out of the game. We failed to have the patience needed, we tried to breach zone defense, to make an attempt after only a single pass. Even when we did establish uncontested shots, we had a very poor range especially in three pointers. I have stated it before, this team needs the experience. We proceed though. 2-2 was made and we will continue behind the same “dogma”. We have to go to Barcelona for the best result. We will see our mistakes, what we must rectify and we will proceed”.

When asked why Sofoklis Schortsanitis was not used after half way through third quarter, Pedoulakis stated: “The truth is that Sofo was quite good in first half, many times on the transition and in set offenses he did not get the ball. In the second half we had issues in defense. He made 2-3 consecutive turnovers. It might have been exhaustion… We withdrew him, we wanted more pressure in backcourt and he is unable to stretch the defense shield by going high and guarding. We performed behind Maciulis who took on offenses with his passion. But you need to use your smarts. We functioned with passion and not logics. The team lost its focus early and failed to ever regain it”.

As far as zone defense Barcelona has opted for from second half in game 3, the Panathinaikos coach stated: “It is clear what it is doing, as also clear was what we do for example with Sada. It allows game to the Power Forward. What it is performing is not exactly a zone defense. We will try to play with the guys we have. Like today we put Maciulis in PF position but he was already in fouling trouble. Barcelona knows how to appeal to the weaknesses and the mismatches of a team. It has first say and we had stated it from the very beginning praise to its experience”.

Pedoulakis also spoke of psychology. Enthusiasm that seemed to get to the players, but also disappointment that might exist now on the team: “Thy guys were in the best mood. It was only logical when you have never before performed in front of so many and such people for you to get carried away by enthusiasm. After the first few minutes go by, habits surface. The same thing happened now. As far as what’s in store for next… Starting from tomorrow, we will work on that part. We have no idea if we are to play on Sunday or not yet. We must protect the guys in view of all up next. We have days ahead of us to work, speak and go play behind the character we have been all season long. We know that it is a series of games. Nothing is over yet… We know that Barcelona is more experienced, has more depth but we will go fight as we do every time”.

Barcelona Head Coach, Xavier Pascual, stated: “We are happy to win. We have been working on getting home court advantage for months and now we will be giving game 5 at our court. It is a matchup of two high level teams, two teams which really wanted to win. Both fought hard to prevail. My players had a great first quarter something we were unable to achieve in all the previous encounters. It was something that allowed us to play more relaxed. And at the same time we passed the stress on to Panathinaikos. But still it managed to reduce its deficit to an 8 point trail, but a Juan Carlos Navarro three led the lead back to +11 where essentially the game ended”.