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Greece: Panathinaikos' new coach Pitino vows to 'play harder' before CSKA clash03:21

Greece: Panathinaikos' new coach Pitino vows to 'play harder' before CSKA clash

Greece, Athens
December 27, 2018 at 20:43 GMT +00:00 · Published

New coach of the six-time EuroLeague champions Panathinaikos B.C. OPAP, Rick Pitino, spoke to the press during his first training session with the team in Athens on Thursday, ahead his side's crucial game against CSKA Moscow on December 28.

Panathinaikos' head coach said that the changes he would introduce ahead of the CSKA game would be "subtle".

"You can't make too many changes now. I'll confuse them and make things worse. And I want to make things better, not worse."

Commenting on the opponent, Pitino said that CSKA Moscow is "very good defensively, very good offensively." He noted that "the only answer right now" is to "play harder and execute better."

Pitino also talked about the differences between the EuroLeague and the NBA, saying that "it's much more half court than the NBA. It's much more physical than the NBA. So you [have] to get adjusted."

He reassured that his team "are better than they are showing. They are better, but right now they are defeated a little bit. They don't feel good about themselves. And it's my job as a motivator to make them feel better about themselves."

Pitino took over the team in the middle of the EuroLeague season, replacing Xavi Pascual. In his 41-year career, the legendary basketball coach has worked with college and NBA teams, as well as the Puerto Rico national team. This will be his first time coaching a EuroLeague team.

Greece: Panathinaikos' new coach Pitino vows to 'play harder' before CSKA clash03:21
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New coach of the six-time EuroLeague champions Panathinaikos B.C. OPAP, Rick Pitino, spoke to the press during his first training session with the team in Athens on Thursday, ahead his side's crucial game against CSKA Moscow on December 28.

Panathinaikos' head coach said that the changes he would introduce ahead of the CSKA game would be "subtle".

"You can't make too many changes now. I'll confuse them and make things worse. And I want to make things better, not worse."

Commenting on the opponent, Pitino said that CSKA Moscow is "very good defensively, very good offensively." He noted that "the only answer right now" is to "play harder and execute better."

Pitino also talked about the differences between the EuroLeague and the NBA, saying that "it's much more half court than the NBA. It's much more physical than the NBA. So you [have] to get adjusted."

He reassured that his team "are better than they are showing. They are better, but right now they are defeated a little bit. They don't feel good about themselves. And it's my job as a motivator to make them feel better about themselves."

Pitino took over the team in the middle of the EuroLeague season, replacing Xavi Pascual. In his 41-year career, the legendary basketball coach has worked with college and NBA teams, as well as the Puerto Rico national team. This will be his first time coaching a EuroLeague team.

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