Promitheas Patras eliminated AEK Athens to reach their first-time ever Greek League finals. For a team that is concluding its third season in the Greek Basket League, the accomplishment seems miraculous, despite the fact that the road to the finals was wide open, since neither Panathinaikos nor Olympiacos got in the way of Makis Giatras’s team.
According to many sources, Promitheas has expressed official interest in joining the EuroCup, covering the only spot available for Greek teams in the competition.
Christos Milas used to be a player of the team. Later, he served as a coach of the cadets, head coach of the men’s team in 2013 as well as a member of the coaching staff, right up to the ascent of Promitheas to the First Division. From 2016 he is the president and the CEO of the club. TalkBasket.net discussed with him about the present and the near future of a team that seems to raise the bar every year.
Q: Congratulations on making the finals. How do you experience the process of Promitheas’s growth?
A: This is something new to us. Every year we are experiencing new things. Being in the Championship finals is huge for us. A lot of credit belongs to the players, the coaches, the staff. They were unbelievable. We managed to overturn the series after a big loss. This shows that we are on the right track. We trust our people and they are doing their best.
Q: Watching your team lose a five point advantage made you think that we could have a repetition of what happened in Game 1, when AEK came back from 78-82?
A: Whenever you see a game, bad thoughts come to mind. That’s the way the game is. But it turned out in an awesome fashion and created incredible feelings for us.
Q: For Promitheas, is this feat considered superior to making the TOP 16 in the Basketball Champions League;
A: It was our first year in Europe, whatever that means, especially inexperience at all levels. Nevertheless, we managed everything very well. The credit goes back to coach Giatras and his assistants, who did an incredible job. The fact that we’ve come thus far is because of them -and because of the players, as well.
Q: The organization of Promitheas has reaped the benefits of the fact that many people have been on the team for years? You, coach Giatras and also the owner of the team, Vangelis Liolios have been in many posts.
A: Sure, that’s our secret. We don’t talk much. We resolve any problem with eye contact in no time and move forward. One thing lies beneath: the pathological love we have for the team. But it’s not just us. There are other people behind the curtains, who give everything for the club every day. What happened with Promitheas is great. All these people are Promitheas.
Q: How easy will it be to see in the future a gym filled exclusively with Promitheas fans, even when you play one of the major Greek teams?
A: In our home court, the fans of the opposing team were never the majority. We have one of the biggest ticket averages in the league. We are happy with the fans that follows us, the city of Patras has embraced us, but our organization in the coming years will be very good at all levels. We have targeted the creation of a Promitheas audience and this will be evident in the future.
Q: How do you plan the future of the team after the Championship finals;
A: In a few days, when the league is over, we’ll make some announcements. We have a three-year plan that’s already ready. We’ve already laid the groundwork for this. Usually, when we make plans, we tend to think ahead of the present time. However, this plan includes difficult objectives for us, which are nevertheless achievable and which will try to accomplish once they are announced.
Q: Which is the main priority;
A: Let us announce them all together first. However, the emphasis on young talents is very important and we will definitely proceed with it.
Q: Is it true that you will be playing in the EuroCup next year;
A: We have some talking to do yet, but we’re very close to announcing where we will participate. It’s not all about the budget. The games against AEK proved it. Everything has to do with the love for the team and moving forward with firm steps: our organization, our people. Our dream is to see Promitheas in the Euroleague sometime.