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Pianigiani: “Every possession will be used to improve ourselves”


Olimpia left to Moscow in the morning. The last practice will be staged in Megasport Arena where Olimpia will play at 7, Italian time, on Thursday. Thirteen players left to Russia with Andrea Cinciarini plagued by a finger but hopefully available.

ABOUT THE EUROLEAGUE – “The EuroLeague is an extraordinary competition – Coach Simone Pianigiani said – that everybody is excited to play. It’s a season-long competition whose level is sky-high and second only to the NBA. It brings toughness, difficulties and also a great sense of responsibility to go along our legitimate desire to compete. We will have to hit the ground running because we’ll play against three of the top teams in the World. The difficulty level is obvious and will be exasperated by the newess of our team. Our goal is to do the best we can, fight over every possession, stay tough mentally to demonstrate something to ourselves not to them. This is the right approach to the compeitition, we shouldn’t be afraid of not being ready – we know it might prove true – we should enjoy the game, stay strong after the losses, because losing is common even to the best teams. We should stay the course, take every game, every single possession at a time and use them to improve and be better every time out. If we do that we’ll enjoy the EuroLeague. We want to climb in the rankings, starting from the bottom to be really playoff competitive in a couple of years”.

CSKA MOSCOW – With Dimitri Itoudis at the helm, CSKA is 42-3 at home in three years, two losses came from Fenerbahce, including last year, while CSKA stayed unbeaten at home in the playoffs. The team includes nine players from the 2016 EuroLeague winning squad, two MVPs (Nando De Colo and Sergio Rodriguez), two defensive players of the year (Kyle Hines and Viktor Khryapa) while the very same Itoudis has been Coach of the Year for a team capable to make the Final Four 14 times in the last 15 seasons.  This is what Pianigiani said: “CSKA represents the highest possible level we can face. It’s a team that basically never loses at home even when it plays other contenders. Our win is not even in the card. But we cannot let this to scare us because losing is part of the EuroLeague life. It’s important to look at ourselves, at the way we’ll stay together to overcome adversities, taking this game as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to get informations about us. That’s what we have to do to improve every time. We don’t have an identity and we face a team coached by the same coach for years, with a consistent roster, a team that replaced Teodosic with Sergio Rodriguez, who owns the competition. It’s a prohibitive game and still every outcome will be used. Right now, I’d like to make sure that they have to respect us and that we’re building something positive”.

MICOV – “We face one of the best EuroLeague team, a pèerennial contender and obviously we need some more time to find our chemistry, offensvely and defensively, having everyone involved. In the EuroLeague the key is to use the extension of a deep roster amd manage the bad times. It’s true during a single game and throughout the season. I spent two great years in Moscow, I competed in two Final Fours and not many players can claim the same”.