Only Olympiacos found the necessary motivation

LEN/Istvan Derencsenyi

For places 5-8th: Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 5-14

Though the game began with a penalty save by Toni Popadic, seconds later Filip Filipovic’s fierce shot made its way to Jug’s cage and this scenario was a kind of preview of what would be happening in the game. Whatever the Croats did, the Greeks always bettered them in every aspect.

It would be an overstatement to say that Olympiacos were top of their game – still, despite their disappointment, they were more precise and more eager to play this match. This resulted a commanding 0-4 lead after the first period and a decisive 1-7 advantage at halftime. Jug could score their first – and for long lonely – goal after 9:22 minutes, from a penalty, but never arrived at this game. Marko Bijac also added a couple of outstanding saves against his fellows, including two in one-on-ones within a minute.

LEN/Istvan Derencsenyi

With all the honours Jug collected during the years, after a while even neutrals might have felt a bit of embarrassment watching the Croats trailing 1-11 at the end of the third period. The Greeks could even score from man-ups which seemed to be in ruins after bad passing. With eight minutes to go, the number of shots also told the story: 16-28 – on goal: 9-19. Man-ups: 0 for 12 and 8 for 11…

Jug showed some minor signs of life in the fourth, started scoring again after 17:46 minutes, still, the overall impression was anything but nice. At the end, they could come inside 10 goals in difference, which well could be considered a positive outcome in this game.

LEN/Istvan Derencsenyi

How they saw it

Hrvoje Koljanin, assistant coach, Jug

“For sure, we wanted to repeat our yesterday’s performance. Even though our young players were playing mostly and were given a chance, we were hoping to show a much better performance. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. To be honest, it was unrealistic for them to play two matches in a row at this level. It was a bit too much for them. We have one more game to play tomorrow. We will try and get ready for it.”

Igor Milanovic, coach, Olympiacos

“After a long night, filled with debacles, my players found the right motivation for this match after yesterday loss – for which I take the responsibility. Of course, always the coaches are the ones to take responsibility in case of losses and I have to analyse later what I did right and wrong which led to this result. Anyway, we had the motivation, and we played a good game, though I couldn’t understand what happened in the pool in a game like this as one of my players got a red card, another had an open injury above his eye… Though I still don’t know if Jug were desperate today or we were so good.”

Maro Jokovic, captain, Jug

“A big fat zero is what happened. We didn’t play anything. We didn’t show up today to the pool or to this match. The only good thing is that no one got injured.”

Ivan Vukojevic, player, Jug

“It was a really bad match, a pure catastrophe. We didn’t follow any of the things we said we would before the game.”

Marton Vamos, player, Olympiacos

“After yesterday we had to resolve some of our issues and today’s match showed our team spirit and we won easily. We have to stand up for tomorrow even though we know we can play at a much higher level and are worth more than a 5th place.”

Konstatinos Genidounias, captain, Olympiacos

“This was not the game we wanted to play today. As if we didn’t show up at all yesterday but this is sport. Now we showed a better face. Jug is a very young team, and they were missing some key players because of injuries. Some good defensive and offensive choices secured us an easy win.”