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A return to victories for “Thrylos”

Olympiacos returned to winning for the Euroleague TOP-16 against Laboral Kutxa with an emphatic 89-59.

Olympiacos returned to winning for the Euroleague TOP-16 against Laboral Kutxa with an emphatic 89-59.

The game began with Vassilis Spanoulis leading the Back2Back European Champions in offense. The captain returned ‘hot’ and thus the ‘reds’ took a 7-5 lead, but then received a 0-10 streak during the only bad period of the team in the game resulting in a 7-15 score. However, the ‘reds’ followed with a 14-0 streak of their own and made the score 21-15 with the first quarter ending 23-20.

The ‘reds’ played amazing defense in the second quarter and forced the Basques into scoring only with free throws. Lojeski, Spanoulis, Dunston and Papapetrou were doing an excellent job in offense and hence Thrylos was leading 45-27 at half-time thus putting an early end to the game.

The course of the game did not change into the third quarter. The players of Giorgos Bartzokas were dominating both ends of the floor and the difference got stabilized at above 20 points. The same with the fourth quarter. The ‘reds’ were getting into rhythm through their excellent defense and a three by Spanoulis took the score at 77-49 at 35’. Papapetrou offered both a solid game and some flashy plays in the last quarter, the difference climbed even at 35 points (88-55). At the end the team of Giorgos Bartzokas won with 30 (89-59).

The quarters: 23-20, 45-27, 77-49, 89-59.
Οlympiacos (Bartzokas): Petway 6, Shermadini 11, Dunston 7, Spanoulis 14 (3), Papapetrou 13 (3), Sloukas 7 (1), Simmons 10, Mantzaris 5 (1), Kavvadas, Katsivelis, Lojeski 16 (2).
Laboral Kutxa (Scariolo): Mainoldi12 (4), Noccioni10 (1), Poeta 2, Hanga 4, Diop 4, San Emeterio 5 (1), Pleis 10, Huertel 3, Van Ostroom 2, Causer 7 (1).

GIORGOS BARTZOKAS: “We obviously played a very serious game tonight given the critical nature of it. Our focus on the defensive part was worthy of congratulating. We wanted to keep Huertel “out’ of the game and we contained Pleis. This was the decisive part of the game, which gave us boost in the offense, together with dominating the rebounding. We had some great opportunities to play a good game. From that point on I would like to specially refer to two people. Vassilis Spanoulis and Vangelis Mantzaris. Spanoulis, although still in pain, played very well and Vangelis played exactly as we wanted him to, got rebounds, passed a lot of assists and played great defense. We still have three more finals, we need to first focus on the one against Unicaja next week.
On the return of Vassilis Spanoulis: “One doesn’t need to have special knowledge on basketball to understand the kind of influence Spanoulis has on our team. It’s not only Mantzaris, but Lojeski as well that plays better when having a scorer playing the “2” position next to him. Brent was under a lot of pressure and this is a chance not only for him, but for other players as well to change levels. We want him to enter the rotation and help us and he’s been doing that. I don’t know if I’m entitled to dedicate the victory, but I’m going to do it anyway, I would like to dedicate this victory to Andreas Gatzoulis who lost his father last night. As a minor token of appreciation, I would like to dedicate him this victory”.

SERGIO SCARIOLO: “I won’t be saying much, congratulations to Olympiacos that made an excellent game in both defense and offense. We started well, but we then lost our concentration, our weaknesses became obvious, we could not continue the same way we started and the difference got out of hand. We shouldn’t be neglecting the fact that they are a better team than we are, but we couldn’t even stay competitive. There is no ranking motivation for us, but we should have been competitive, play for our honor and the honor of the competition, since there are games left to play till the end of the TOP-16. Odom did a very good job; he tried to get incorporated with the team but got injured in the process. The coach does not judge, he coaches. He got injured and wasn’t able to help, he would have been of great help but was unlucky. We have a small roster, Lamar would have been an excellent addition for us, but he unfortunately got injured”.