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Coach Messina: “We competed until we had energy, there were also some unfortunate possessions”


Coach Ettore Messina talked to the media after the Olympiacos’ game: “Congratulations to Coach Bartzokas and his team. I think we competed until midway through the third quarter. And then some of the players who really carried us for the last month just had no more legs. We didn’t have a lot of energy. Still, in the opening of the third quarter, we held them to two points over the first five minutes, but we only scored five points and missed at least three great open shots. And after that there were four possessions where things should have been ruled differently, a foul on Hines that became a three-pointer by Sloukas and a couple of more three-point plays that were cancelled. Small things that unfortunately went in the wrong direction for us. This doesn’t take anything away from the merit of Olympiacos, who is an excellent team and finished the game in the best possible way.”

About the EuroLeague: “Every round we have at least two surprise results. If for some reasons you take a game lightly then you lose it. That’s how competitive this league is. I don’t even know how many wins you need to make the playoffs because of how the standings are. I was saying this probably two-three years ago. I was probably the first to say this. We should start considering a different format for the playoffs. Only eight teams out of 18 making the playoffs is not a fair number, considering the teams and the investments the owners are making. If you see the NBA there are 16 teams who make the playoffs plus there are at least four teams who are involved with the play-in.”

About the injured players: “We are experiencing what Olympiacos would experience if they play three months without Sloukas and Walkup. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish this to anyone. Unfortunately, our injured players will stay out for a little while more and we have to win a bunch of games anyway. We were coming off some good games, including the Italian league, we will work to have more of them.”