Bartzokas: “There is no revenge in our minds for Real – This is my philosophy and that of Olympiakos”


THE George Bartzokas hosted at Nova, with his coach Olympiakou to give a big interview ahead of the Berlin Final 4.

The “red and white” coach referred to the philosophy that he and his team have built over the years, for the semi-final against the European champions, Real Madrid, but also for the uniqueness that exists this year with the presence of Panathinaikos AKTOR in the top four of the event.

In detail what Giorgos Bartzokas said:

“They ask me in football ‘can you get us two tickets?’ and I tell them “here I can’t find you in basketball!”. I don’t talk about basketball with my friends at all. It’s like talking to a doctor and asking him at night what treatment to take. Will I deal with this again? And at the cafe level, you shouldn’t discuss when basketball is such a serious part of our lives. For us, I mean. We are paid and we do this work successfully or unsuccessfully, based on a know-how, an experience, a knowledge in any case of the particular thing. This cannot affect it.

Based on what you say, we lost seven of the eight matches against Spanish teams in the regular season. But now we have beaten Barcelona three times which could have been four because what happened happened. And now we have Real. So based on what we did in regular time we had to avoid Barcelona and we had to go with Monaco. But basketball is not a simple thing. Basketball is “I prepare as best I can to win the game in front of me”. This is my philosophy and that of Olympiakos.

We do not choose an opponent. We go in and do the best we can with what we have in front of us. Maybe you might, in the short term, lose something with it, but in the long run the club becomes big. He knows he doesn’t pick an opponent, he gets strong and the players believe in that and the whole organization believes that we can win wherever we play.

We have played so many times with Real me and their coach and the players with each other. I think we should stick to the purely competitive part. We are dealing with a great opponent, the European champions who are first in everything this year. More wins, better offense, better defense, the only team to sweep the Play Offs. Right now we have to do our best in this game, not being the favorite but having enough chances to ‘beat’ the match and go to the final. There is no revenge or anything on our minds.”

On whether the presence of Panathinaikos affects the Final Four: “Clearly. In the previous two years there was no other Greek team and there were no teams with such a popular base as this year. Thus, Olympiacos had 12,000 people in Belgrade, 8,000 people in Kaunas. This year things will be different. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. The only thing that affected me is that I felt more pressure because so many people were coming from all over the world to see Olympiakos in the Final Four. Also, I know what Olympiacos means to our fans.

It is a passion that affects their lives (pp. Olympiakos). But being Panathinaikos definitely affects the Final Four. If they were in the semi-finals there would be some data. Psychological emptying, great joy and great sadness that might affect the final.

Let’s assume there will be a stand of bigotry, tension and hatred – why hide it – that happens in all rivalries in Europe. It is not only a Greek phenomenon. It’s just that a little more applies here because we are Mediterranean. We are Southern Europeans. I have no doubt that there will be no issue in terms of violence because I was like an Olympiacos fan at the previous Final Four in Berlin. Olympiacos – Panathinaikos and nothing had happened.”

Source: Sport Fm

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