THE Dimitris Itoudis waiting for a national team that will fight in World Cupwithout even himself-as he admitted-knowing where he can reach in this event.
“It is an achievement for Greek basketball and the federation to be at the World Cup once again. Obviously we didn’t come here for the experience, but we want and need to be competitive. Being competitive means that you have to compete with yourself, have high goals and get out of your comfort zone. Already due to the time and climate difference we are outside the safety zone. We want to see how competitive we can be“, initially emphasized the federal technician.
“Today we had our twentieth training and in twenty trainings you can’t have what you want. But we are well on our way to understanding our virtues and the weaknesses that we must overcome. When you do this, you have already achieved a lot. I am proud because the players have shown commitment from day one, they understand the difficulties, they understand who we are and what remains is to go out and be competitive. Who starts or finishes the games also depends on the games. Unfortunately some conditions did not allow us to have continuity from last year as a team, but we will find our identity through the matches. We are confident about how we should play in this competition, depending on our opponents that we respect“, he added.
“When you represent your country, the world is watching and you can’t fool anyone. We will go out to fight, to defend our country, with the aim of being proud of the way we tried. If we reach the height of our potential, we will be satisfied“, he continued, while the promise he made was: “The promise of the players and coaches is that we will give our best. The world is having a hard time and a little help in their psychology will be important for us. We will leave nothing to chance” and concluded on the specific issue: “We expect to be consistent in fighting battles making the Greek people and ourselves proud. We cannot be spectators. We want to act, not react. I don’t know the ceiling of this team. We have not set a ceiling, because we do not know the future. Let’s go play the best we can against Jordan, it won’t be easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. We’ll see along the way. The team should be the protagonist. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’ll see if one day Kostas, Nikos, Thomas, Walkup will be “hot”».
Regarding the absences and the renewed composition of the team he said: “Anyone who is in the National team, not just the 12 who are here, deserves to be part of it. We are not doing them a favor, they are doing us a favor. When some players are absent for reasons we respect, it opens up an opportunity for others. You must be able to take advantage of this opportunity. Players like Moraitis or Rogavopoulos belong to this category. Mitoglou is another case, we said he should start from scratch and he is highly motivated. We’re excited to see where we go” and continued: “We knew there would be absences, we realized it as well as the players. It would be impossible for some players to recover so quickly. From the beginning, therefore, we proceeded with specific data. Duration in an effort is what counts. There are teams in the World that have a chemistry and a duration with small additions for the better. This did not happen to us. It would have been wishful thinking, but it didn’t happen and we can’t talk with assumptions. But we have a renewal, children for whom doors and windows are opened. I don’t know how the results will be, let’s hope for the best. Apparently twenty training sessions are not enough. I would like more, but there is a terrible mood. We approach games in finals and in a final you never know. I don’t see us coming here as favourites, but as a team that has high expectations for themselves. And I put myself in there too».
There was a lot of talk about the shots. “It helps when you’re hitting shots. It gives the players a boost, gives confidence to the whole team and helps you in defense too. In games, however, you see other things as well. We are a team that can come back even though the opponents get differences. We have ways to slow down the pace of the opponents, to make them make mistakes, although in some games we didn’t take advantage of them offensively. The issue is group production. We distribute the ball well, we look for the best possible shot and this shows that we want and can play team basketball. We are in a tournament where you don’t have much time, you want wins. The match against Jordan is a final, we respect the opponent who has certain qualities“, he said and continued: “I don’t agree that we were hesitant to shoot. In the first friendlies we were quite accurate and then not so much, with fluctuations. But we created conditions. You can’t break the belt just by shooting. More we had poor balance and shot support. We need to be more aggressive on the offensive rebound, backing up those shots if they don’t go in.».
As for the first opponent? “I won’t tell you our plan for Jordan, it wouldn’t be that smart of me. Jordan has multi-dimensional players at the 3, 4 or even 5 positions. Hollis-Jefferson can become a point of reference, as can Doverioglou at the ‘5’ position. There is also Bhai who shoots very well. Their coach uses different tactics, they play a lot of zone and we should be well prepared».
Finally, one could not fail to mention the fires. “Unfortunately, I remember that even in our first statements in the preparation we talked about the fires. We cannot help but be concerned about what is happening in Greece and it is sad. I hope and wish that not only the Greek community but all of them will be imbued with excess knowledge and experience in order to face these difficult situations. I hope that what happens is as painless as possible. Our thoughts are with them, but to be honest, we need to do more. Everyone should feel protected from any such natural disaster. Prevention is very important».
Source: Sport Fm
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