The captain of Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv, Guy Pnini, spoke to paobc.gr about the importance of his and Maccabi’ s participation in the biggest ever friendly tournament in Europe, and, of course, about Dimitris Diamantidis.
"Diamantidis has a rich and wonderful history with Maccabi. We've lost to him, we've defeated him, and I can tell you from first hand experience that we have always respected him and been aware that he is one of the greatest players in Europe." Said and continuous: "Diamantidis is a winner and a world-class defender with a brilliant basketball mind."
Do you remember some characteristic moment from the career of Dimitris Diamantidis?
"There's no one single moment that stands out, but rather a whole slew of memories: his three Euroleague championships including, unfortunately, the one against Maccabi in 2011, and no less important, his achievements with the Greek National Team, especially in the World Championships semifinal in 2006 against the USA. If I remember correctly, Diamantidis almost never left the court and played a big part in the sensation."
-How difficult will it be for Panathinaikos Superfoods and for the Greek basketball to find a new replacement for Dimitris Diamantidis?"There will never be another Dimitris Diamantidis. Maybe there will be players who resemble him, but there will never be another one like him."
How important it is for your team to compete in a tournament with such strong opponents in a packed OΑΚΑ?
"This tournament will give us the first glimpse into how we, as a relatively new team, will stand up against the opponents that await us this season in the EuroLeague. All three of the other teams taking part in this tournament are considered the best in Europe, and this season we also want to be there. It will be interesting to see how we do against them while at the same time working on the connection between us as a team."