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Refuses to lose

Olympiacos, although trailing by 15 points against Siena, succeeded yet another epic upset and bested the Italian team 78-73 thus remaining undefeated in both Greece and Europe.

Olympiacos, although trailing by 15 points against Siena, succeeded yet another epic upset and bested the Italian team 78-73 thus remaining undefeated in both Greece and Europe.

The team began the game kind of numb. Empty tribunes had an influence on the players of  Giorgos Bartzokas who weren’t able to get into rhythm early in the game and thus Siena was leading 15-17 at the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Back2Back European Champions were shooting extremely poorly resulting in the Italian team building a safety difference. The ‘reds’ weren’t able to find rhythm through their defense and half time ended 25-36.

In the beginning of the second half, Olympiacos continued not being good in defense. The Italians, especially with Greene, made some incredible shots and maintained two digit differences. Stratos Perperoglou ignited the spark of the comeback, but Green with five consecutive points led to 46-57 at 30’.

The last quarter however completely belonged with the European Champions. With yet another upset Olympiacos got the victory. Perperoglou and Spanoulis took action, defense was brilliant and another upset for the team of Giorgos Bartzokas was a fact. Actually the reds’ players never missed a shot in the last quarter.  

The quarters: 15-17, 25-36, 46-57, 78-73.
Olympiacos (Bartzokas):  Petway 9 (1 3p., 3reb.), Law 6, Dunston 7 (8reb), Spanoulis 16 (2 3p., 2as.), Perperoglou 18 (4 3p., 3reb.), Sloukas 8 (7as), Agravanis, Mantzaris (1 3p.), Kavvadas 1, Lojeski 10 (7reb).
Siena (Crespi): Viggiano 4, Hunter 6, Cournooh 4, Rochestie 2, Carter 10, Ress 10 (1), Ortner, Nelson 9, Green 28 (3).

GIORGOS BARTZOKAS: «Tonight we witnessed a game characterized by a cold atmosphere due to the empty gym. We also witnessed the very good team performance by Siena in the largest part of the game, the personal performance of Green, our bad performance for three quarters and our very good effort in the fourth one. In a game that bore no importance and everything was going to wrong way for us, we had the perseverance and the will to turn the game, we found motivation where very probably other teams wouldn’t.  It was an important victory for the team in terms of effort and not ranking. We have to see what went wrong in the first three quarters. To be good in offense you don’t need to hurry, you have to be patient, pass wisely and find the free player. Congratulations to Siena, they have a good momentum right now. Hacket not playing freed them from any restrains. If somebody wants to beat us, they have to play well for 40 minutes, not 35 or 37. Hacket is an NBA level player, he’s an excellent creator which is really important at this level. I wish him and Siena good luck, as well as to coach Crespi who I respect a lot”.

MARKO CRESPI: «I’m happy with our performance at the Peace and Friendship Stadium. Although Hackett was out, we played at a high level for 35 minutes against the European Champions. It’s important that a small team played a great game and an excellent team succeeded a unique victory.  As a coach I’m content, but as a person I feel bad for my players for missing on the opportunity to get the victory. These upsets are a norm for Olympiacos because they have great confidence and believe in themselves. The upset in the Euroleague final was historical; tonight it was job as usual. It wasn’t easy to play without Hackett, but I like trying different rotations to reach our goal. As for the rumors about our financial problems, the administration has issued a statement I cannot comment any further. The only thing I can say is that everyone on the team is happy, at least with what goes on the floor”.

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