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Bartzokas is focused on the present, Mateo expects great match-up


Photo: Euroleague Basketball/Snip from YouTube Channel

The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four Championship Game Press Conference took place at Zalgirio Arena. Real Madrid was represented by star center Walter Tavares and head coach Chus Mateo, while Georgios Bartzokas and Kostas Sloukas were in front of Olympiacos.

“If you live in the past, you cannot live anything new. Basically, I don’t live in the past. I have great memories from this final because we won the title and it was a kind of dominating basketball in the semifinals against CSKA and against Real Madrid in the final for three quarters because we were losing by a 17-18-point difference and finally we made 90 points in three quarters”, Bartzokas remembered the Final 4 in London 10 years ago. In the Championship Game Real Madrid faced Olympiacos and Greek team celebrated in the end.

“I cannot say that I am feeling it’s destiny. I cannot say that. Basketball changes every day. We are 10 years older and we are kind of different persons. I want to really enjoy the momentum, the timing, this big battle against such a great club like Real Madrid“, added Bartzokas who trusts his team will do everything possible to win this Championship Game.

“We are talking about big clubs in European basketball. Everyone knows what Real and Olympiacos mean. It going to be a “battle” but in athletic terms. I have a lot of respect for Chus Mateo and for Real Madrid, but we have faith in our work and our effort all season and it will be very interesting to see what happens tomorrow.”

On the other side, both Mateo and Tavares praised the fact that Olympiacos kept a core of players for many years as one of the big keys to be successful.

“It is an honor to compete against a team like Olympiacos, which is a basketball machine. They play amazing, they are very solid, and they know each other really well for a long time. It is a pleasure and honor for me to be the opponent of Coach Bartzokas, someone who I think of as a reference in European basketball, a gentleman of the benches. For me, it is good to play against him. It will be a great basketball game for fans watching it, and a good match-up. I hope it falls our way”, said coach Mateo at the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four Championship Game Press Conference.

One of the key players in Real Madrid, Eddy Tavares, had only good words for their opponent in the big finals, but trust his team will give its best to take the trophy.

KAUNAS, LITHUANIA – MAY 20: Kostas Sloukas, #11 of Olympiacos Piraeus and Walter Tavares, #22 of Real Madrid during Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four Kaunas 2023 Championship Game Press Conference and at Zalgirio Arena on May 20, 2023 in Kaunas, Lithuania. (Photo by Rodolfo Molina/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images)

“I am going to try to enjoy every minute of this Final Four against a great opponent like Olympiacos. They have been consistent throughout the whole year, we have followed them very well. They play great and have been together for so much time”, started Eddy, who then mentioned his direct opponent Moustapha Fall.

“I know Fall is a great player that will make things hard for me. I believe that more or less we have the same size. I feel good against a player that players like me, that does things as I do them. It will be a pleasure to play against him, as always, and I will do my best to stop him.”

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