Giorgos Bartzokas admits Olympiacos is still ‘in shock’ after EuroLeague Championship Game loss

Giorgos Bartzokas admitted that Olympiacos has not yet overcome the defeat to Real Madrid in the EuroLeague Championship Game (78-79).

The “Reds” have still been affected by the way they lost the game, as Sergio Llull scored the game-winner with 3.2 seconds to go and Kostas Sloukas missed the game-winning shot at the buzzer for the Greeks.

Giorgos Bartzokas revealed that his players have been mentally and physically drained after the EuroLeague Final Four, while some of them are dealing with minor or major injuries.

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“We have suffered an emotional shock. Some needed more support, others less. We feel like we’ve been hit by a train. This game helped us a lot, that’s how sport works. We are down, but to a large extent we are a winning team and we want to continue like that.

“Against Real Madrid, ten things happened defensively and offensively for us to lose the game. If one of them hadn’t happened, we would have won. We’re 10 months together, having gone through trips, injuries, disappointments, and joys. We went through a lot together and that was the climax. For the second year, we lost at the buzzer,” Giorgos Bartzokas told media on Thursday after Game 2 victory over PAOK for the Greek League semi-finals (77-97).

“But life fixes everything. Success or failure is the way everyone looks at it. I feel sad. To win the EuroLeague would have been a success. I feel like there’s a lot of recognition all around Europe for the basketball we played.”

“Our budget wasn’t among the top eight. But that’s how the Final Four works – the winner leaves happy, while the other three teams are left in crisis and with a lot of questions regarding players and coaches,” Giorgos Bartzokas stated.

Olympiacos were dominant in the regular season, finishing on top, and eliminated Fenerbahce in the playoffs. However, just like the 2022 semi-final vs Anadolu Efes and the buzzer-beating three-pointer by Vasilije Micic, a last-minute winning shot cost them the EuroLeague championship.

On the other hand, Chus Mateo and Real Madrid survived five elimination games, an 0-2 deficit to Partizan, Guerschon Yabusele’s suspension and injuries to Gabriel Deck and Vincent Poirier and went on to win the championship for the first time since 2018.

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