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TOMAS VAN DEN SPIEGEL
It's going to be CRAZY
Apr 24, 2009
by Josh Childress - Athens, Greece
Well, we are a week away from the Final Four in Berlin and we are getting a bit anxious. Both my team and I have worked hard all season to make it to this point. We have battled through fatigue, injuries and many tough opponents - and it's been a lot of fun doing it! Olympiacos hasn't been to the Final Four in 10 years, so this is definitely good for the team and for the fans. The buzz around Athens is great. Our fans have been waiting for a long time to see their team get back to this point and we are in the gym working hard for them.
This will be the first Final Four in my career and I'm really looking forward to the experience. I didn't have the chance to get there while I was at Stanford, so this is really cool for me. I have heard from the veteran players on my team that it's such a great atmosphere to be in. Theo Papaloukas has been to seven straight and I've been speaking with him a lot about what to expect.
There are four really talented teams playing to become the champions of Europe this year. CSKA has been dominant all year and Barcelona is a very tough team to play against because of their talent and their style of play. We match up in the semifinal against our biggest rival in Panathinaikos. Obviously, both teams are familiar with each other since we have already played against them three times this year. I believe that the game will come down to who's playing harder and who plays stronger defense. In these types of games, your opponent will study everything you do. All your plays, your tendencies, and they'll basically know you inside and out. So it comes down to effort and determination.
I already know the arena is going to be CRAZY. We have the best fans I have ever seen. So I am looking forward to playing in front of them in Berlin. It's an expensive trip and it just shows the dedication and love they have towards us!
Well, I'm signing off for now. I am looking forward to holding up a trophy on May 3rd! Let's go Olympiacos!!!