Credit: TASS – Scanpix
Credit TASS – Scanpix

Mario Hezonja made his return to Athens, which was bittersweet. His new team, UNICS Kazan, won the game 74-72 thanks to Lorenzo Brown’s game-winner, but the Croatian star was met by the boos of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens fans.

Player of the Game
Lorenzo  Brown
EFF
16
Lorenzo Brown
Points 13
Accuracy 5-10
Rebounds 8
Assists 2

“Everything went wrong today,” Hezonja said to NOVA’s broadcast. “I’m glad we won. There were many ups and downs. We were focused until the end, we fought, and we won.”

Personally, it wasn’t the best game for Hezonja. He finished the game with 9 points (1/2 2PT, 1/5 3PT, 4/6 FT), 4 rebounds, 5 drawn fouls, 1 turnover, and 8 PIR.

“I shivered when we landed. It was difficult for me today. I miss everyone here, the people and the team. It is difficult to play against them. But I did it,” Hezonja said.

Asked about the boos from the fans, Hezonja didn’t shy away and admitted that he actually deserved such treatment.

“I deserved it, and I understand it. I do not forgive myself either,” Hezonja said. “Because this team is above everyone. I trusted some people a lot, and I am disappointed. I love them very much.”

“It’s been on my mind for so long. They shouted my name at the airport. I will love them forever, they are my team. Of course, I forgive them, that’s how it is if you play here as an opponent.

It is difficult to talk about these feelings. I do not change, the love for my team will remain forever,” Hezonja continued.

Finally, the Croatian forward ended his post-game interview by saying that he would like to return to Athens.

“I’m not saying anything. I did not want to go to the NBA. I trusted some a lot, wrong decisions were made. We will see what happens, I do not say anything lest something go wrong. Of course, I would like to return,” Hezonja concluded.

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Atėnų Panathinaikos
Kazanės UNIKS
42%
27/65
Field goals
46%
26/56
38
Rebounds
31
12
Assists
10
5
Steals
7
15
Fouls
14
54%
20/37
2-pointers
52%
17/33

Best players

Georgios  Papagiannis
14 PTS
7/12 FG
0/0 FT
Andrey  Vorontsevich
15 PTS
5/9 FG
3/3 FT
Georgios  Papagiannis
17 REB
10 DREB
7 OREB
Tonye  Jekiri
9 REB
8 DREB
1 OREB
Panathinaikos Athens
Few players
3 As
Isaiah  Canaan
5 As
1 TO
29 MIN
Georgios  Papagiannis
24 EFF
58% 2P%
- 3P%
Lorenzo  Brown
16 EFF
33% 2P%
75% 3P%