Panathinaikos OPAP suffered another home defeat, this time to Armani Jeans Milano, which made the Euroleague playoffs a much less feasible goal for the Greens than it was before that game.
Now, with a 6-8 record and their back against the wall for good, the six-time Euroleague champions will need to outdo themselves in order to keep that goal alive. Giorgos Vovoras, who was an assistant coach to both Argyris Pedoulakis and Xavi Pascual, took over from the dismissed Catalan coach on a temporary basis, as the Greeks have already come to an agreement with Hall-Of-Famer Rick Pitino.
DeShaun Thomas scored 11 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 24 minutes of play, but could not change his team’s fate.
The experienced forward talked to TalkBasket.net about:
- the factors that decided the game:
“I think we played hard. It was a closed game and we fought hard to the end. We just made a little bit more mistakes than we should have. It’s part of basketball. The little things sometimes matter the most. We focused on what the coach told us to do. I can’t say that we made bad mistakes because we played hard, but there were moments when we needed to do more than what the coach asked us to do. I don’t think we were unlucky”.
- Panathinaikos’s chances of making it to the play-offs:
“Things are not going our way, but it’s a long season and there are 16 more games left. If we win four out of the five next games, we will have chances for the TOP 8″.
- the Greens’ reaction to file a complaint for the referees letting the game clock run from 2:01 to 1:48, when neither of the two teams was in possession of the ball:
“I think when the ball got in, they had 13 seconds left. The ball was in play. I think that’s what happened, but me, as a player, was focused and keyed-in to see if we could make a stop on defense. Referees can miss those type of calls. They can make many mistakes, but we can’t put our head down on that. We have to move forward and try not to repeat our mistakes”.
- what Giorgos Vovoras tried to change, literally overnight:
“Coach Vovoras has been great and always positive. He gives us confidence and this is what we need. He’s doing a great job, right from the first game that he coached us. He believes in us and we believe in him”.