Papanikolaou: We are going to the game with a knife between our teeth

By Eurohoops team/ [email protected]

The Euroleague playoffs have a delivered series full of excitement and one of those has certainly been the duel between Olympiacos and AS Monaco which will be decided in Game 5.

Olympiacos has the home-court advantage and Kostas Papanikolaou believes that his team has to use this chance to reach the Final Four for the first time after five years.

“We are going to the game 100 percent with a knife between our teeth! It may sound cliche, however, we are talking about qualifying to the Final Four. It’s a great opportunity for all of us. It’s a difficult series, very intense, with very strong battles, but right now all of that is out of the window. It’s a do-or-die game. Although I believe this has been a successful European season for us, right now we have a unique opportunity in front of us and we have to take advantage of it, because you never know when you’re going to get another one like that.”

Coach Giorgos Bartzokas echoed those words.

“Making a mini-assessment of what has happened until now, we are very content with our course this season. The fact that our team has succeeded playing three playoff games here and have this kind of support from the fans, in this kind of atmosphere, is credited to our players. It’s very important for all of us. If someone told us at the beginning of the season that we would be playing a fifth game in our home court to make the Final Four, we would all have been happy about this prospect and that’s how we need to approach this. It’s a very difficult game, but we are playing at home, we have potential and we believe that if we play well, we are going to win.”

Meanwhile, Monaco coach Sasa Obradovic reminded that his team already succeeded in beating Olympiacos on the road but knows that this will be a different beast. The pressure is on the Greek squad nonetheless.

“My players showed a lot more energy in Game 4 than previously in the series. Now the mental pressure is on their side. We have already beaten them in Piraeus but this Game 5 will be different. If you want to beat them on the road, you don’t just have to bring energy, you also have to be patient and play with your heart. Olympiacos has the experience of these big meetings but we know what to expect at the Peace and Friendship Stadium.”

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