Basketball / Gershon Shooting for Success With Olympiacos

"My aim is to win the Greek championship and reach the Euroleague Final Four," Pini Gershon said yesterday after being presented as coach of Olympiacos Piraeus.

"I always wanted to coach in Greece. Maccabi Tel Aviv is a great club and I can see that Olympiacos is the same. I want to repeat my success at Maccabi here. I have great expectations, otherwise I would never have come here," the coach added.

When asked about a possible clash with Maccabi in the Euroleague, Gershon said: "You can guess who the fans will be behind when we play at Yad Eliahu, but I am sure that Olympiacos is as big a team as Maccabi. Everybody knows who was the last person to take the championship away from Maccabi."

Gershon will also be kindling an old rivalry in the Greek league when he faces Zeljko Obradovic of Panathinaikos. "I am a great admirer," Gershon said of the Serbian coach, "but I want to beat him. Basketball is played by players, however, and not coaches. I want to win the title and present it to the president."

Olympiacos president Sokratis Kokkalis said of his new coach: "I think everybody is familiar with Pini Gershon's track record. He is one of the best coaches in Europe and his character and temperament suit the club."

Earlier Gershon told reporters that the decision to leave Maccabi for a new challenge with Olympiacos had given him the energy to continue coaching.