Win with difference
What Olympiacos had wanted playing against Anadolou Efes had originally been the victory to keep him alive at the qualification game to the Play-offs, and if a big score came, then all the better, and that’s what actually happened. The “reds” edged Efes 83-65 led by the performances of Sloukas, Dorsey and Spanoulis.
Dusan Ivkovic’ players began really focused, mainly on their defense and it was really quick to control the tempo. The Turks, always tough at the beginning of their games, made it all the more important for Olympiacos to have a strong beginning.
During the entire first half, the “reds” imposed the rhythm and controlled the game. However, they loosened up their defense at the beginning of the second half and made easy turnovers in the offense, giving the Turks the opportunity to score easy points at the transition.
This was corrected in the last quarter, when Ivkovic used three guards to break the zone played by Anadolou. Sloukas, Spanoulis and Gecevicius played at will and in just a few minutes Olympiacos was leading by 10 to close with an 18 point margin at the end.
The quarters: 20-12, 41-36, 53-53,83-65
Οlympiacos (Ivkovic): Hines 6,Antic 8 (2), Spanoulis 18 (2), Dorsey 10 (5reb.), Pelekanos, Gecevicius 6 (2), Glyniadakis (4), Printezis 4, Papanikolaou 8 (1), Mantzaris, Sloukas 15 (2), Law 4.
Anadolou Efes (Sarica): Kinsey 4, Τunceri 4, Akyol 3 (1), Batista 11, Vujacic 12, Savanovic 4, Guler 2, Lafayette 11, Barac 14.
DUSAN IVKOVIC: « It was a good game. A game we won fairly and I’m sure that what got us there was the patience we had for 40 minutes. We began very well; we only received 12 points, when Efes has an exceptionally good first quarter. The next two quarters were rather problematic. We missed some easy baskets and the team has to adjust to the miss-matches. We did not circulate the ball well but we made the shots in the last quarter and played very good defense. We can move ahead with this victory and continue working at practice. We are a young team. Papanikolaou played very well.
Every player will have his chance if he works hard. Sloukas had been the thirteenth player and I told him to be patient. His patience got him here. It’s very important for Mantzaris, who had made the team and got injured to manage to come back. It’s really important to play defense as well. When Mantzaris was benched, I asked him mumbling something and when I asked him what was that about, he told me he was mad at himself and that’s how it should be. We know about Sloukas being talented, we all however expect something more than that».
KOSTAS SLOUKAS: «I made a lucky three-pointer in Turkey, but what I want for every game is to play well and help my team and my team mates.
Certainly, it’s something totally new for me to play and have my name heard in the gym. The first months had been rather difficult, but I got better with the help of my coaches, especially on defense where I needed to».
VASSILIS SPANOULIS: «We knew that Efes plays very good first quarters and that’s why we began strong. Efes played zone defense later on, but we managed to react and got the victory.
We have had two unexpected injuries, mine and Lazarus (i.e. Papadopoulos). But we are finding our identity by now. We are a young team and with many young guys. We learn from every game and we really enjoy playing».