Ilias Papatheodorou, during the Press Conference that followed the end of the game against AEK for the BCL playoffs, pointed out that PAOK missed the chance to qualify to the next round.
PAOK's coach said that the team controlled the five on five game, but they were hurt by missed threes and points received by turnovers.
His full statements:
"First of all, I would like to congratulate AEK for qualifying to the BCL quarter finals. As for the game, we controlled the situation and did exactly what we had planned apart from the fact that we allowed 27 points from turnovers, 10 from offensive rebounds and 12 at the fast break. We controlled all aspects of the game on five on five and I think we had the chance to get the qualification in addition to winning the game. We missed critical open shots. However, I'm again very proud for my players' effort. We showed an excellent mentality and despite the problems we have been facing, we are competitive in every game and at every level. I generally think we deserve more as a team. Good luck to AEK for the remainder of the competition".
On PAOK's very poor perimeter percentages: "80% of the shots we took were distanced at 3 meters from the opponent, we didn't just have an advantage, we had 3 meters distance. AEK is a very aggressive team when defending, they have big bodies, they use their hands a lot before shots, but still, most of our shots were taken from a vantage point. I think it was more an issue of ours, most of the times we make these shots, but tonight wasn't a good night. I also think that AEK messed a lot of our offensive plays with deflections and at the same time got to score many points at the fast break. I think that most points we received came from turnovers".
On whether the series was decided in the fist game: "If we stand at the purely competitive aspect, my opinion has been laid open to the people of our team: we hurt ourselves, when we stopped functioning for 15 days following the Cup final. It's obvious that the outlook could have been a lot different should there have been no break. You can't move ahead on ifs. We had to face this situation as well and we got to play against a team that is among the 2 - 3 favorites to win the BCL, with a very good roster, an experienced coach… Nevertheless, I think that we could have gone for something more tonight. It is only certain that the first game and especially the first quarter of that game played a decisive role. When you play games like that, each position counts".
On the points received after offensive rebounds: "I said that in the beginning, AEK got 10 points from offensive rebounds and we got 0. We are generally not very skilled in that aspect, but AEK did a very good job. We need to be clear; AEK has a lot more athleticism than us. But the most important thing is they have continuity, which we haven't had. When you stop for two weeks, is like you shut down shop, it's not easy. That's why I'm saying that our players are the last ones to blame for this situation.
It's a real pity, because I think this team has proven to have a huge potential this season, but we are never going to witness that".
On what comes next: "I have learned to wait for the next day, especially this season. I hope we stick together and we remain focused to go after what goals we have for the Greek League".