Olympiacos coach Dusan Ivkovic will prepare for Sunday’s Euroleague title game against CSKA Moscow much differently to how he planned Friday’s shock win over Barcelona.
The underdogs threw the form book out the window with a 68-64 success over the heavily-fancied Barcelona side – a win that they richly deserved – but Ivkovic will be preparing much differently, come Sunday night.
I think that we all expect a big game against CSKA tomorrow,” he said. “From our side, I think we have to prepare the game in a different way than against FC Barcelona.
“My team goes game by game and has grown up a lot. It was unexpected for many people that we controlled the game yesterday. CSKA, just as Barcelona, is more experienced than us, but we have to prepare a different game. “
The Serbian national team coach has squared-off with Kazlauskas and CSKA Moscow twice this season, losing on both occasions, but the two experienced play-callers have faced each other at a Final Four once before back in the 1998/99 season, the Lithuanian won that day as well as he led Zalgiris to a 87-71 victory over Olympiacos.
Ivkovic, himself a former CSKA Moscow coach though isn’t concerned about the past or the form book, tomorrow night will be another game, another chapter added to the friendly rivalry and he knows of the threat that his old side bring to the court.
“CSKA is a much different team and I think that we can play much better than yesterday,” Ivkovic explained. “If there is anything that we did well against Barcelona, it is that we didn’t allow them to get mismatches expect rebounding. We have to improve that against a team like CSKA. It has been the same team from the beginning of the season.”
He added: “All teams in the Final Four did not have players leaving to the NBA, but CSKA managed to sign Kirilenko and keep him in the team, which gives them an advantage. I think we have to be ready for all this tomorrow.”