Last Sunday, the Panathinaikos basketball team won its sixth title and was crowned with the European championship. It was a great game, with an action-packed performance from both teams, and the victory glorified the Greek basketball industry as well as pleased Greek sports fans who have lately been under the weather with everything that is occurring in Greece.
The win also proved the theory that if perseverance, discipline, hard work and team spirit are applied then everything is imaginable and attainable.
The win was much easier than some would have imagined, and that is because the Greek team had certain advantages that the other teams didn’t. The main factor which cultivated their advantage, and thus allowed Panathinaikos to once again win the European Championship, was the quality in their style of play, the quality of their teamwork and most importantly the quality to know how to do it at any given moment.
During last Friday’s Semi-final, Siena attempted to beat the Greek team but only on a quantity basis. the italian team’s scheme was to make more fouls for itself in order to indirectly force its Greek opponent to lose stride of the game and slow down its winning streak?
So they needed many players to do that, the solution was easy…huge rotation, many substitutions (quantity), which were used on their part only to protect the players (quantity again).
Panathinaikos answered with a quality play. They applied defences that they were expected to apply, and then they executed the famous pick & roll plays in their offense and in the end they won quite easily… simply because of their superiority in quality.
In the final game against Maccabi T-A, we watched a similar form of play. . Maccabi T-A, tried to apply a run and gun style game, landing many three points shots (quantity), and achieving many isolations (quantity), as well as at the same time making many changes in their defence… and Panathinaikos –once again- applied its quality play to that game as well and came out a winner.
Therefore the win by the Greek team was well deserved, for their performance was much more superior on all levels against all their opponents. And although they owe their guidance to their Head Coach (who is from Serbia) as well as to four key players, the Greek team achieved a clear win by applying what teams do best in order to win championships… simple teamwork and lots of spirit.
Through competitive games such as the above teams are given the opportunity to measure themselves against others, as well as against their own past performances. By means of this process they immediately gain a more profound understanding of their abilities. By analyzing and studying their strengths and weaknesses they gain the direction needed in order to face tuff challenges. The result is literally a re-creation of the spirit and this is vital for any team.
Odysseus Elytis was once quoted as saying that “you’ll come to learn a great deal if you study the Insignificant in depth”. For him, Greece symbolized “certain values which could enrich universal spirits” wherever they were. Such is the case of the Panathinaikos team. Their spirit developed a complete theoretical framework and in respect to this and through teamwork they came out as champions.