Ioannis Papapetrou made his Euroleague debut as a Panathinaikos player in the Green’s difficult win against Maccabi at OAKA. Although he saw most of the game from the bench, since both Matt Lojeski and Thanassis Andetokounmpo were having a great night, the experienced forward was relieved by the outcome of his team’s endeavour.
Right after the game, Papapetrou answered all sorts of questions concerning the game and the Greek team’s readiness. Here’s what he said to TalkBasket.net about:
– How Panathinaikos managed to reverse the situation in his favour:
It was a game where both teams were unprepared. We made a lot of mistakes and got the opponent to score a lot of points, which we did not want to happen. We played hard in the last five minutes, showed a will to win the game and -most importantly- got the win.
– Scottie Wilbekin’s performance, since he was the main source of danger for Panathinaikos’ defense:
Of course he caused many problems. I think that he found rythm early in the game, while we made some mistakes and gave him some easy baskets. From then on, he kept scoring difficult baskets and I think he was the driving force for his team, not only in scoring but also in creation.
– How he experienced his first European game in the green jersey:
I am very happy that we won this game. Certainly, there is a lot of room for improvement. In the first game of the season you’re never in the best possible condition. After all, it would be strange to be totally ready. We want to improve, but at the same time the priority is to keep winning. The most important thing at the moment is to win.
– The element that Panathinaikos keeps from the game vs Maccabi, apart from the victory:
The will we showed in the end and the battle we gave to take the game, especially at the end. We made some tactical and technical mistakes, but there was the will to win and we did.
– His view on Maccabi:
They have improved since last year, as they boast a complete roster. We must not forget that Pargo did not play against us. They are a very full and hard-to-beat team.
– The upcoming two-game Euroleague week and whether Panathinaikos are ready to cope with it:
We are ready and we have to be. We do not have the degree of readiness we want as a team and in terms of chemistry, but each one of us individually and together as a collective, we have to appear as fresh and rested as we can to play these two games and achieve two wins if possible.
– Whether chemistry is attained through playing official games:
This is certainly the case. In many friendly games, we didn’t have a full roster because we were missing the players who were with their national teams. Through the official games we will find our chemistry and we will play better.