Thursday, April 19, 2012
'In a single game… anything goes!'
Hi everyone… Now it’s back to business. After three days off for some much needed rest and taking advantage of the Easter break, we began practicing again. This next month for us will be filled with nonstop, important games, since we have both the Greek League playoffs and of course the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four. We want to finish strong in both competitions, so we will give everything we have to achieve our goals as we head for the finish line.
The first step for us will be the Greek playoffs games against Aris. We want to win in a sweep, 2-0. We are the better team, but we have to prove it by outplaying them on the court and not by just talking about it. We have those games, the semifinals of the Greek League will follow and then we’ll focus on our preparation for the big event: The Final Four, our big goal!
Panathinaikos has not been to back-to-back Final Fours recently, but this time we made it. We have the chance to defend our title. It’s the first time in the modern era of the Euroleague that we have that chance; the team had done it back in the 90s and also in Coach Obradovic’s first years with Panathinaikos. For me, it will be the first time that I get to take part in this big basketball celebration twice in a row. It has been our main goal from the start of the season. It was tough to achieve it; we got through a series of strong games and managed to overcome all the obstacles in the playoffs series against Maccabi Electra. We can only feel happy and proud that we managed once more as Panathinaikos to achieve a goal we set for ourselves.
Now, anything can happen. It’s a situation we know very well. We‘ll take our chances, we have the experience to handle the situation. I know that the big favorite this year is CSKA Moscow. Personally, I believe that CSKA has a complete roster, with many options. It’s a very strong team, but we know very well that the word "favorite" has no place at the Final Four. Once we reach Istanbul, all the teams have a one-in-four chance of winning and celebrating the title. In a single game… anything goes!
Stratos Perperoglou - Athens, Greece