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Let's go Olympiakos! Pissed of the rest
22-03-2012

Marti Artigas
Eurohopes Chief Editor

Kostas Sloukas ('90), Kostas Papanikolaou ('90), Evangelos Mantzaris ('90) and Dimitrios Katsivelis ('91) are the only U22 players competing in the quarterfinals of the Euroleague. These are not good news, of course. Too much veteran players and only a few prospects between the best. I don't count other ones who are not in the roster because they usually compete in their farm teams or other squads. Otherwise those are not too many. Sorry, only one: Josep Pérez ('94), from Barça Regal. I'm really shocked trying to understand this. At least "our" team was the only one to win the game on the road in the opener. Olympiakos needs all the respect of us. Let's go!
 
Sloukas (15'), Papanikolaou (19'), Mantzaris (12') and Katsivelis (16') have been playing important minutes since the jump ball of the first game. Thanks Mr.Ivkovic to show us that they are young players ready for that level. I already booked the flight tickets for the Final Four of Istanbul, but at this point I only expect an interesting final round of the U18 Nike International Junior Tournament, from Eurohopes point of view. I would like to see greek prospects in turkish event. Of course it will be interesting to watch Bo McCalebb & Co., but actually I prefer the other ones. What is the reason of this strange situation? Beside the ones playing in NBA where are the rest of our best ranked players?
 
Of 1990 generation Donatas Motiejunas had his opportunity to show his skills, but Prokom was eliminated in Euroleague's regular season, while Dusan Cantekin has only been playing serbian domestic competition with Mega Vizura. Now, with the addition of teams competing in Europe, the level has increased in that league. But for 7'3'' center is not the best showcase for him.
 
Talking about 1991 prospects is a shame Madrid is not alive. Nikola Mirotic has shown a lot of things this season, in ACB and Euroleague also. Czech guard Tomas Satoransky, from Banca Cívica Sevilla, hasn't competed in european competitions, so a bit more difficult for him. Of course he has level to be between the best even he needs a few steps forward more. Turkish Furkan Aldemir had shined with Galatasaray, being one of the surprises of Euroleague arriving to Top16 and fighting for the quarterfinals until last day.
 
And 1992? Jonas Valanciunas and his teammates of Lietuvos have been competing in Eurocup. They made the quarterfinals, beating Donetsk in the first game. We will see how they will answer in Ukraine. For Evan Fournier french league has been his only way to show his upside. Poitiers is struggling, so better for him to grow as a player grabbing clutch time minutes.
 
And the rest? There are other prospects with enough quality to be fighting at Euroleague quarterfinals. But the reality is another. Do teams such us Maccabi, Panathinaikos, Barcelona, CSKA or Montepaschi give priority to other things and they will only bet in cases like Ricky Rubio, who was a reality not a prospect?
 
Pissed of all this.
 
Photo: ekathimerini.com (Kostas Sloukas)          

 
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