13 October 2012
Real Madrid sealed its first victory in the opener to the European competition, beating Panathinaikos 85-78. Pablo Laso also highlighted Draper’s game against the Greeks: “He gave us a change of pace, especially with his physical presence and the pace he set for the team. I think both he and Slaughter did really well. But as I always say, this is a long haul, and I don’t just need Draper, I need everyone”
Pablo Laso analyzed the clash: “It was a deserved but hard-won victory. We started the game with a lot of skill, and that gave us a slight advantage. But later they were able to play their options well, they moved the ball very easily and that made them take control of the game, which we lost in the first half. I think that in the third quarter we changed this dynamic, especially with our defense. We tried to make them think more, not play so easily, to recover the ball, to make them run, and we played more intelligent basketball on offense”.
The Real Madrid coach also had some words about the referees’ performance: “I was really surprised by the number of offensive fouls they called on us. I don’t have the exact number, but there were a lot. I understand that there may be fouls on blocks, on moving screens, and I think it’s good that they are penalized, but I think the difference between the two teams was really big. In the end we had 17 losses, many of which were not even forced because they were fouls on offensive changes. Whereas they had 23 and we had to force those losses by working defensively in a different way. I think that this is something that should serve us for learning and I think that we did much better in the second half”.