Kaunas’ “Žalgiris” experienced a disheartening defeat in Barcelona, where the local basketball team dominated them with a conclusive score of 91:73. The team’s strategist, Andrea Trinchieri, expressed deep disappointment, not merely with the final score but with the undeniable fact that his team had surrendered.
Following the game, the Italian coach conveyed his dismay at the team’s decision to give up. Despite this disappointment, Trinchieri acknowledged the outstanding performance of the opposing team. He made a commitment to rebuild the players’ confidence, emphasizing that the focus should not solely be on the scoreboard.
“I am not overly concerned about the numerical outcome displayed on the scoreboard. We spent a considerable time in Valencia, and ‘Barca’ played exceptionally well. However, it’s disheartening that at one point, particularly in the fourth quarter, we succumbed, and that doesn’t align with the identity of ‘Žalgiris.’ We can have good and bad days, but surrendering on the court is not an option.
On our toughest nights, when nothing seems to go our way, we must stick together and complete the job. We owe it to ourselves, the organization, and the loyal fans. I made it clear to the players in the locker room that I won’t single anyone out or mention names – we surrendered as a team.
I need to do more to motivate the players and instill confidence in them. They shouldn’t feel despondent when things aren’t going well.”
Further praising the standout performers from Barcelona, Trinchieri revisited the team’s emotional and physical state after the halftime break. He pinpointed the third quarter as a critical error in the game.
“We had a disastrous first quarter followed by an outstanding second quarter. However, after the break, we were sluggish, both psychologically and physically. We made an effort, but we failed to ignite. Today, players like Parker, Vesely, and Brizuela had exceptional games. While we could have performed better, they played exceptionally well.
At a certain point, we found ourselves lacking both emotional and physical strength, and that is troubling. I am more disappointed with our performance in the third quarter than the first. The first was subpar, but we managed to make a comeback. The third quarter was a mistake. We made a mistake.” Without explicitly naming individuals, Trinchieri expressed dissatisfaction with the contributions of certain key players during the game.
“I see that the players are striving to comprehend my expectations. They are attempting to cope with the pressure I place on them. In my opinion, when you have a significant role, you cannot shy away from responsibility. I can understand if a player has a bad day, but they must remain committed to the team. If shots aren’t falling – focus on defense; if it’s a tough day – work harder on defense, fight for rebounds, create opportunities in offense. Be valuable; do something to assist the team.”
Regarding Austin Hollins’ future with the team, Trinchieri remained tight-lipped, but his appreciative words directed at the legionnaire, who completed the trial period, sounded like a farewell.
“We still need to have a discussion about it. I must emphasize that he is an extraordinary individual, the best teammate one could find. He aids the coach, supports his teammates. Regardless of the outcome, I am profoundly grateful to him for his professional dedication.”
“Žalgiris” now faces its 14th defeat and currently holds the 16th position in the EuroLeague with seven victories.