Credit: Vangelis Stolis
Credit Vangelis Stolis

Panathinaikos OPAP Athens suffered at the hands of Zalgiris Kaunas which cruised to an easy win at OAKA for the second year in a row.

Player of the Game
Edgaras  Ulanovas
EFF
29
Edgaras Ulanovas
Points 22
Accuracy 9-12
Rebounds 4
Assists 2

Speaking to Greek EuroLeague NOVASPORTS, forward Howard Sant-Roos was asked about the Greens' woes this season. After all, PAO have already suffered several big-time losses at home so far.

The first one came to ASVEL in Round 7, the second to Olympiacos in Round 17, the third to CSKA Moscow in Round 20. Now, Zalgiris forced the six-time continental champs to another ugly defeat (83-96) in front of their home crowd.

"It could be a lot worse. There's a war going on," Sant-Roos said.

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The first quarter changed everything. We let everyone down in the first quarter. Receiving 30 points in the first quarter is definitely unacceptable. We scored only 10 and we should have allowed 18 or 20," he explained.

Against the Lithuanian champs, Sant-Roos logged 16 points on 5/9 from the field, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals. His good offensive input didn't change the hosts' fate in the contest, as Zalgiris comfortably held on to a double-digit lead throughout the entire game.

Credit Vangelis Stolis

Despite the heavy loss, Panathinaikos were on a two-game winning streak. Addressing the current roller-coaster season and its roots, the Cuban forward stressed that "it's a matter of unity. I feel like a lot of players have no idea what it takes to compete at this level."

Sant-Roos didn't hesitate to put himself in the mix.

"Unfortunately, I and other players don't have what it takes mentally. We all can play basketball, but our problem is mostly mental. When you're playing EuroLeague, you got to be tough every night," he contended.

Sant-Roos basically described a situation where most players are not happy with the way things are done and run on the court.

Howard Sant-Roos

Howard  Sant-Roos
Howard  Sant-Roos
MIN: 23.55
PTS: 7.67 (49.5%)
REB: 2.88
As: 1.88
ST: 1.21
BL: 0.21
TO: 1.33
GM: 24

"Overall, we're not having fun at all in staying together," he revealed.

"I hope nobody takes this personally." And then, Sant-Roos unleashed the ugly truth.

"Some players have issues with the way we run offense and defense, some have issues because we don't talk on defense.

Everyone's having things to deal with. All of this is affecting the team overall. You have to put those things aside and do what's best for the team," he argued.

Asked about the war in Ukraine and its repercussions on EuroLeague, Sant-Roos replied that doing away with Russian teams for the foreseeable future made him "feel sorry for those teams, players and coaches because they were on their way to the playoffs."

"They were having a great season," the 31-year-old former CSKA player said.

"Those are the teams we all want to see because we all want to play basketball and enjoy our passion.

I'm just sorry, but life goes on and some things are bigger than basketball. I hope we can all play basketball and enjoy ourselves next year."

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Panathinaikos Athens
Zalgiris Kaunas
55%
30/55
Field goals
54%
37/68
23
Rebounds
35
17
Assists
18
4
Steals
6
35%
7/20
3-pointers
42%
11/26
19
Fouls
23

Best players

Nemanja  Nedovic
23 PTS
7/15 FG
5/5 FT
Edgaras  Ulanovas
22 PTS
9/12 FG
2/2 FT
Georgios  Papagiannis
7 REB
5 DREB
2 OREB
Joffrey  Lauvergne
12 REB
4 DREB
8 OREB
Daryl  Macon
7 As
4 TO
24 MIN
Lukas  Lekavičius
5 As
2 TO
25 MIN
Nemanja  Nedovic
25 EFF
50% 2P%
44% 3P%
Edgaras  Ulanovas
29 EFF
78% 2P%
67% 3P%