Here are the thoughts of the protagonists after the third place game between Barcelona and Olympiacos
Post-game quotes third place game: Barcelona vs. Olympiacos
Sarunas Jasikevicius, FC Barcelona head coach:
"Congratulations to our players and fans and a big thank you to our fans who came to Belgrade and supported us. Everybody understands the feelings we have right now about this Final Four, it’s not really the most pleasant thing to play this game. I was really worried about how the team would look especially at the beginning, and the feeling of sadness that you enter the game with. But the guys showed a lot of professionalism and seriousness about them, going about their business. I thought it was very good. I thought it was important to do exactly what we did, come out, try to do the job.
"Obviously it’s not whole lot better now, the feeling, but it’s a little bit better. There were some positive performances for us, especially Cory playing so many minutes, that’s so important for us. Hopefully he can catch some rhythm and be the Cory Higgins that we know. Congratulations also to Olympiacos and the amazing atmosphere their fans created in this Final Four, they showed what kind of support they have and it’s really something we should mention. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s obvious that we have a good team but it’s also obvious we have a problem killing off games. Everybody knows Barca has a good team that can fight for everything. It was important to win today but not at any price, and Cory playing 22 minutes is very positive news for us. The locker room is terrible. It’s very sad.
"And I think that’s a good thing. We know that we have allowed a very big opportunity to escape us. But we know it’s not possible to win everything and a very important league trophy continues. We have to rest a little and go for the league playoffs. We have to keep pushing. No team is perfect, every team has defects and we know our own. The guys will keep working. We know that we’ve given the fans a lot of happiness already but we also know the most important thing for Barca fans is EuroLeague. So we have to keep working for more. The details we lack is about the game plan, the rules we have.
"Taking away the main thing the opposing player can do and how we can attack. But the most important is to not give any free stuff to the opponent, make them work for everything. The killer instinct is something we are trying to get. If you give a Final Four team the opportunity, they will come back. I have a team full of 30 year olds. They are experienced guys. They’ve been through good things and bad things. We have to be professional and finish the season good. We leave here tonight and this must be forgotten."
Georgios Bartzokas, Olympiacos Piraeus head coach:
"Obviously it was a game that doesn’t give you anything, but at the same time we had to play for our pride, we had to compete for our fans. Generally I think it was a really good game, like a small final. I would like to mention two things: firstly to say how grateful I am about our fans, about the fantastic support we had all season and even today in a game without interest. I would also like to mention Georgios Printezis.
"I think he is blessed to feel the appreciation of the fans in that way on his, probably, last game in Europe with Olympiacos. For us, it’s important to finish the season winning the domestic league. We wanted something more at the Final Four but I cannot complain about anything, and good luck to the teams that play in the final now. All year we had very good percentage from threes, but some of our players had a little pressure coming here. Maybe it was my fault that I couldn’t throw the responsibility from their shoulders.
"All year we had the best average in EuroLeague and the domestic league, so I don’t believe we have a problem from the three point line. We have a lot of good shooters but I just think we had a lot of pressure at the Final Four and it was a problem. We have a core of very good players who are contracted for next year. Georgios Printezis is 37 but everyone else is a fantastic age, a combination of enthusiasm and experience. Our additions will be two or three players, with quality to help the team that we already have."
How EuroLeague TV experts called the Olympiacos-Efes semifinal
FC Barcelona vs Olympiacos Piraeus | Third Place Game | Highlights
Magic Moment: Calathes sets Final Four assists record!
Magic Moment: McKissic throws it down!
Magic Moment: Mirotic to Calathes
Magic Moment: Abrines dunks off a steal!
Magic Moment: Olympiacos's team effort!
Magic Moment: Vezenkov beats the buzzer!
Magic Moment: Calathes behind the back!
Nikola Mirotic describes that Season MVP feeling
Top 5 Plays | Semifinals| Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
Spalding Dunk of the Night: Davies dunks in traffic!
FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid | Semifinal | Highlights
Post-game quotes: Alex Abrines, FC Barcelona
Post-game quotes: Brandon Davies, FC Barcelona
Magic Moment: Poirier's block off the glass!
Magic Moment: Mirotic finds Davies!
Magic Moment: Poirier dunks again!
Magic Moment: Causeur to Poirier for two-handed slam
Magic Moment: Llull puts Real ahead!
Magic Moment: Davies dunks in traffic!,
Magic Moment: Llull to Tavares for alley-oop slam
Magic Moment: Yabusele throws it down
Olympiacos Piraeus vs Anadolu Efes Istanbul | Semifinal | Highlights
Post-game quotes: Shaquielle McKissic, Olympiacos Piraeus
Post-game quotes: Hassan Martin, Olympiacos Piraeus
Magic Moment: MICIC WINS IT!
Magic Moment: Martin ties the game
Magic Moment: Singleton's one-handed slam!
Magic Moment: Dorsey beats the third quarter buzzer
Magic Moment: Dunston with authority
Magic Moment: Walkup at both ends!
Magic Moment: Dunston stops Papanikolaou
Magic Moment: Fall finishes strong,
Semifinal vibes: Barcelona vs. Real
Semifinal vibes: Olympiacos vs. Efes
Inside the semis with Kyle Kuric, FC Barcelona
Inside the semis with Kostas Sloukas, Olympiacos
Dream Team: Moustapha Fall
Dream Team: Brandon Davies
Coach of the Year: Georgios Bartzokas, Olympiacos Piraeus
2021-22 MVP of the Season: Nikola Mirotic, FC Barcelona
Final Four arrivals: Barca touches base in Belgrade
Final Four arrivals: Return of the Reds
Our Season: FC Barcelona
Our Season: Olympiacos Piraeus
EuroLeague title memories: Olympiacos Piraeus
EuroLeague title memories: FC Barcelona
Name the Players: Tyler Dorsey, Olympiacos Piraeus
Name the Players: Georgios Printezis, Olympiacos Piraeus
Nikola Mirotic, FC Barcelona forward:
“We definitely need to build from this win for the rest of the season. Obviously, it was tough to play this game, emotionally especially, but with this crowd today at some point I felt it was a final. So you’ve always got to be positive, you’ve always got to learn, and we’ve got a lot of things to learn from this Final Four. It was an amazing tournament so far, the crowd was amazing. I’m proud of our team especially today how we played. We showed our character, we were together and we won the game.”
Nick Calathes, FC Barcelona guard:
“We wanted to end on a good note. We weren’t happy with our first game, but we wanted to finish strong at the Final Four and now hopefully win the Spanish league. It was difficult when you come here, you’re first all year and believe you’re the best team. But that’s sports, nothing is guaranteed. It’s disappointing but hopefully, we can win the Spanish league.”
Sertac Sanli, FC Barcelona center:
"In this tournament, the Third Place Game is really hard to play. I think in this team everybody is professional and we had to get ready mentally, and it was a good basketball match. We played a good basketball match. This win will maybe give us a little bit of morale before the ACB playoffs. Everybody thinks too much about two days ago. It is better to look forward; we have the ACB playoffs and have to focus on that. I hope we win the league. The atmosphere was completely amazing. It felt like we were playing a game in Piraeus. They have really good fans, we have really good fans, and it was a great atmosphere. It's good to play in this kind of atmosphere, especially after the losses both teams had two days ago. Maybe because of the fans, we saw some good basketball."
Kostas Sloukas, Olympiacos Piraeus guard:
"Fans are amazing, that is the first thing that comes to mind. Not just here in Belgrade, the whole year. They helped us a lot to get here and I am so proud of our fans because they are our sixth player. This game was tough, very difficult because our mind was on that last shot and the way we lost against Efes. We fought, but they fought, too and they won. Now we have to finish the season strong in the Greek championship."
Thomas Walkup, Olympiacos Piraeus guard:
"The Third Place Game is always weird. You are not really fighting for anything but you are honoring the game of basketball. And because they showed up like this, we were also honoring the fans. It would be a shame to not show up and play as hard as we can because throughout the EuroLeague season, they have been there backing us every single game. It wouldn't be doing them justice if we didn't come out and play as hard as we could. That's what we tried to do today, as a 'thank you'. Our goal at the beginning of the year was the Final Four. That changed a little bit once we got here and felt like a little bit of an opportunity slipped, to be honest. I don't think we will ever play the Final Four in front of 12,000 of our own fans again. So I think disappointed is the right word, that we didn't come away with the championship. It did feel like an amazing opportunity. That's life."