Kostas Charalampidis pointed out the character PAOK’s players showed at the game against Happy Casa Brindisi for the 5th day of the 4th group of the Basketball Champions League.
PAOK’s coach pointed out that these victories are the reward for the players’ effort at practice, and said that this is the way they should be playing at every game.
«I would like to congratulate my players for their great effort tonight. These past few days were a very difficult period for us, we had been playing against the second seed of the Lega basket. I believe we deserved to win, given how hard we tried tonight».
On whether the high score was according to plan: «Happy Casa Brindisi is a really aggressive team. A few weeks ago they beat Armani Milano, a Euroleague team. It’s difficult to defend against them and the fouls called did not allow us to play defense the way we had planned to. I’m not particularly bothered by that. The guys showed character and were able to return from a very difficult result that cost us and hurt us all (i.e. the disqualification from the Greek Cup)».
On the different image the team has when playing at home or away:
«The team is new, both the players and the coach. We have been building character and I think that such victories give us a lot of confidence to be able to continue the same way on the long road ahead of us. These victories give back what we do every day at practice».
On the fact that the saluted the Brindisi fans: «It’s a city that loves basketball. I saluted people that I met when I was in Italy, familiar faces. It felt very good that they still remember my very short time with the team».
On the 21 points PAOK received at fast break: «They are a team whose main characteristic is fast breaks. They have athletic players that were very difficult to contain. Their main characteristic is fast break. They have athletic players and it was very difficult to contain them, we stressed that, however, some turnovers we made did not allow us to return as we had wanted to. When the game was at the point of making the right decisions though, we made them».
About Wiggins and if the «4» position fits his better: «Wiggins is a player with great will and motivation. He’s a coach’s player, he wants to help wherever you use him. He fights for the team at both ends of the court. We had to use him as a “4” tonight and I think he faced up to it very well».
About the team’s different outlook tonight: «I have said before, basketball is 100% a psychology sport. What we need to be doing when things are tough, is to support the guys and see what the next day has for us. That’s how the team gets to build character, they need to be like tonight and like at the game against Ifaistos. For me, that’s non-negotiable, that’s the image the team has to be projecting».
On whether there are going to be changes and the what are the needs of the team: «We’ll be doing the best we can in collaboration with the administration. The team needs to find playing balance. We need to find an identity and always be the same way, no matter the court and the opponent».