As long as Hapoel Jerusalem waited for the decisive stages of the Champions League, a competition it was supposed to host its Final Four, but following the Corona virus, FIBA had to hold a “bubble” for the last eight and move the competition to Athens. Tomorrow (Wednesday, 18:30) Hapoel Jerusalem will meet the Spanish San Pablo Burgos, hoping to qualify for the stage.
Oded Katash He said at the press conference: “First of all, I will always be happy to return to Athens. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for giving us, the eight teams, a chance to end the season. We, Hapoel Jerusalem, had a good season and we are happy that we are given the opportunity to finish the tournament. It is true that there are a lot of difficulties and the staff has changed, but it is very important to us as a club. “
On the opponent and the chances in the competition: “We will meet a great team with a great coach and of course we will have a hard time, we also added new players in the summer, but we watched Burgos and we have even a bit of an advantage because they started the season earlier. We have made great efforts in the summer to get stronger on the one hand, but we are not quite ready yet. We will do our best, for us it is a season opener and we must arrive mentally ready. I don’t think there are favorites in this tournament. “
On the lack of preparation and signing of Nikos Papas: “It is clear that teams improve over time and look much better after two or three months. I’m glad we have Papas with us and I do not know how much he can help us after four or five training sessions, but we are very proud that he is here with us. The management made a great effort to add him after the injury of Jacoben Brown and it is great that he is here with us. “
Finally, Katsch added about the longing for the audience: “We miss the fans. Especially to our audience, but in general to the fans in the stands. There are countries where they approve of bringing audiences into the halls and that is gratifying, but in Israel there are difficulties with the Corona and we want to be optimistic and believe that within 6-8 weeks we will also be able to play in front of a home audience. As a former basketball player and avid sports fan, fans are the main reason we play. When we go on the floor tomorrow, we will think about our audience, we will know that they encourage us and want us to win and we will play for them. “
The wounded captain, Jacoben Brown, He added: “We are enjoying the class, we arrived here already on Saturday and we want to start with a victory. I may not be able to play for the next two months, but I remain optimistic and supportive of my friends. We had a great season and I am here to support friends, encourage them and be for them. “
Coach Burgos, Joan Paniarouia: “We are a young and less experienced team in Europe, but we have reached the last eight stage and it is very important to us and significant for the fans. We will meet a great team tomorrow, but our idea is to play our game and hopefully win. It is true that we started the league and that it was difficult to watch Hapoel Jerusalem because it has not yet started the season, but we hopefully have three games ahead of us. “
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