The stars and key decision-makers at the 2022 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four took the stage together for the Opening Press Conference at Stark Arena on Wednesday afternoon.
Final Four Official Press Conference: Olympiacos Piraeus
Freshly-crowned EuroLeague Coach of the Year Georgios Printezis and Olympiacos Piraeus team captain Georgios Printezis were among them. Here are their answers to some of the questions asked of them by the accredited media.
“First of all, one more time, I have to say it's been an honor for us to participate again in the best tournament of European basketball, the EuroLeague Final Four. What I have to say to my players is that there is no need to exaggerate anything. We just need to focus on ourselves, have to play with confidence, we have to play for our shirts, for our city, Piraeus. For our club. And to enjoy the moment. Sometimes it is rare to be in this position to play the Final Four, to play for the title. So we don't have to exaggerate in anything, we just need to enjoy the moment.
“Honestly, I don't want to talk about myself. It is a team effort. It is an expression that we are here all together. Our fans, our presidents. We represent our city, our club, and we are here all together fighting for this goal. Everyone knows in Greece that I am an Olympiacos fan. I know exactly what Olympiacos means. It means passion, also sometimes extreme feelings in a good and a bad way. We are in a good way right now, but you never know what life brings to us. I am just happy for the moment.
“I totally respect Coach Ataman, he is doing a great job, not only this year but the last three or four years Efes is on the top of Europe. He has his own way to express his confidence. I don't see anything bad in this. We are trying to do our job, we are trying to focus on our game and what we have to do to be competitive against the EuroLeague champions and to win the game. Honestly, we don't have any talk about Coach Ataman and his expressions.”
“[Being with Olympiacos] after 20 years, that does not sound so good. Sounds really bad. For me, for our club, it is a big honor, a very big privilege to be here and participate here at the Final Four, the best four teams in the EuroLeague. It is a very big honor for our fans also. Of course, it is something that is not so easy. When we started the season, our first target was not to go to participate in the Final Four. We had to work hard to achieve it and go until the end. It is something we succeeded. I am very happy, as my team is very happy, to participate and to be here at another Final Four with this team.
“Sometimes we talk about the Final Fours, but I am sure all the players know what it means, know how much they worked to bring the team here. I am very lucky that not only me, but also our coach, also Kostas Sloukas and Kostas Papanikolaou have experience at the other Final Fours and we can give the advice. But I am sure [other players] know the way, and they will give their best.
“Of course, I believe the fans will give us more energy. They did it the whole season, first time after many years they gave us no pressure at all. They helped us in all games in our stadium and we are waiting for them to come and help us. What happened in Game 5 was something amazing. I understand it is not the right way for fans to enter the floor before the game finished, but all these emotions of two and a half years of COVID, a lot of fans want to celebrate, want to feel good. And we are very happy and very blessed to give them these positive feelings and I hope we give them more at this Final Four.”