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The old war-horse of Panathinaikos, Mike Baptiste cannot believe that he stepped on the head of an opponent

06 November 2010 / 17:11:03  GRReporter
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Panathinaikos’ match against the team of Olympia Ljubljana left black traces in the Greek basketball. Not because the Greens suffered their first loss in the Euroleague, but because they suffered their first loss in basketball. Scenes similar to those of the Acropolis tournament had to be quickly forgotten. And to simply remain as bad memories from the past. When the national team player Yannis Bouroussis was hit with a chair on the head by the furious Nenad Krstic, the shameful video toured around the world. Now the entire Europe saw the video from the pitch in Ljubljana, where the player of Panathinaikos Mike Batiste in an act of demonstration stepped on head of the opponent Alex Ozbolt who found himself on the ground. An evidence that aggression is rampant not only among fans but also among the players. The shock is great. Who would have believed that a player of Panathinaikos will loose his temper and will cause the team which became a role model in the country to become notorious? And who could believe that the otherwise clam Mike will show such a bad trait of character? Coach Obradovic still can not understand how a player of his has kicked in the head a player from the opposing team. Later Baptiste himself could not understand his action. He was shocked by his behavior and on the web site of the team he said: "The only thing I can say is that I apologize. This is something I myself still can not believe I did. I apologized yesterday, but I will try today again to speak on the phone with Ozbolt to tell him a great and sincere apology. It was a very big mistake for which I am truly sorry. This was something that was not supposed to happen."

Despite the strong kick, Alex Ozbold received no serious injuries. The guard avoids to comment on this topic. "Fortunately nothing serious happened to me and I'm ready for the next game" – are his only statements.

The game turned into a thriller when it appeared that both teams go hand in hand in the score. The greens were few times a step away from the victory but the hosts had the strong support of the numerous audience in the hall. At the end tension escalated further. The third part of the game ended with 48-48, and the fourth with a 72-72 ... This is exactly when the tragedy happened. Mike Baptiste stepped on the head of Ozbold and afterwards the totally stunned Zeljko Obradovic send him to apologize.

"Everybody knows who Mike is. Whoever loves basketball, loves also Mike. He made a mistake and I told him to apologize. I myself also apologized to the team of Olympia" - the coach said later.

Tags: Panathinaikos Mike Batiste Alex Ozbolt Olympia Ljubljana Euroleague
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