Dimitris Itoudis knows all about high pressure situations and he said he’s not worried about his team being labelled as one of the favourites for EuroBasket 2022
The road to EuroBasket 2022 hasn’t exactly been ideal for Greece, with Georgios Papagiannis and Kostas Sloukas suffering injuries along the way but they remain among the tournament favourites.
Dimitris Itoudis, the Greek head coach, acknowledged that it comes with the strength of the roster.
“It goes with the job. It goes with the potential you put out there. We have a different approach. We’re more pragmatic. Our future is the next practice, the next game. This EuroBasket has a lot of teams with hopes based on facts, on the quality they have,” Itoudis told BallinEurope.
“We’ve had a journey, through pre-season and official games, with a lot of obstacles but that has united us the most.”
There appear to be promising signs that those obstacles are clearing with both Papagiannis and Sloukas being included in the final 12 man roster, which was announced on Thursday.
“Papagiannis is good to go. He’s practising already with contact. We, though, will see on the day of the game how he feels and take the decision based on that but he’s ready. I’m excited he’s with the team and back with the team. Regarding Kostas, we have some good news as well from the doctor,” Itoudis said.
“It’s going to take him a little bit longer but I have been told he will have an extremely quick recovery, better than was expected. Therefore we decided to declare him in the 12. It is day by day, hour by hour, which will decide when he makes the first practice. I would like to have everyone healthy at once but here we are, I made some decisions and I’m standing behind those decisions. The team has improved in games and in practices. The team is ready to go and give us great fights.”
Itoudis also took a moment to pay credit to Greece’s first opponents, Croatia, at the press conference.
“Croatia has some great players. They’re big, they can play small as well, they have good versatility. It’s a marriage of youth and experience. They have great players in the NBA and Euroleague, they know about the demands of big tournaments.”