The proud Obradovic and the "avid" Itoudis

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Zeljco Obradovic said he is proud about the way his team played in the first half. He also thinks that after the Final-Four of Berlin, Panathinaikos has the obligation to participate in the next's year major basketball event.

"What can one say after such a game, especially when the opponent was playing for 4th straight year in the final. I have to congratulate my players and say that I am proud for their performance in the first half" was the first words of the Euroleague's record-holder coach in trophies (7).

"Congratulations to the team and the fans and to Thanasis Giannakopoulos. I am really sorry that Pavlos couldn't be here with us, due to a health issue. Congratulations to coach Messina, whose team made a great effort. It was a big game for the fans, which make us to be here next year" he added.

"Zoc" made complaints about the referees saying that "In the half time we expected that CSKA would react. I have to say that in the second half many strange things happened. I don't want to speak now, because I want first to see the game. I will apologize if I am wrong. I repeat that the regulations are the known in Euroleague, but what happened in the second half was really strange".

He is sitting in Panathinaikos bench for the last ten years and after the success in Berlin, he prefers to concentrate in the club's next day, because the year is far from over. He will talk for his future on the summer. "The presidents believe on us. When the games are over, we will have a talk. I am happy in Panathinaikos, first of all because we have players that love basketball. Don't forget that over the last 10 years this is the 18th title in 21 finals" he explained.

As for what he said to coach Mesina at the end. "After the game I gave him congratulations for his team's performance".

The celebration cannot last for long, because "now we have the league. Our goals are still three. We have a difficult task ahead of us and I would like to convince my players to forget this celebration and dedicate to the play-offs" he analyzed.

The same things came from his long-time assistant, Dimitris Itoudis. "It was a game with two different halves. In the first one we were amazing in defense and offense. In the second we didn't maintain the same level of intensity. We didn't pass the ball so good.

It was natural for CSKA to come back in the game. It is a very good team with great players and coaches. There were some situations, which we didn't handle in the proper manner. It is a great success for Panathinaikos in a final-for of very high level. We mustn't forget that we eliminated Siena, who could be the reserve "miss" if we were talking about a beauty contest" he said with a smile.

To add that "we have to congratulate our players and the fans. We have to keep on making them proud. We are not fed up. We step on the ground and we know that if we stop trying, someone else will leave us behind. We are still hungry".


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