Olympiacos edged Anadolu Efes 67-62 for the first game of the play-offs and is now leading 1-0. The next game is scheduled for Friday (12/4).
Giorgos Bartzokas’ team began the game well and managed to lead 17-15. The ‘reds’ increased the margin to 9 points (32-23) at the second quarter, but the Turks quickly returned to the game with half – time ending 33-32.
In the third quarter, Giorgos Printezis took his team mates by the hand and with continuous scoring helped Olympiacos lead 50-46. The ‘reds’ had complete control of the game in the fourth quarter and thus reached their first victory.
Τhe quarters: 17-15, 33-32, 50-46, 67-62
Οlympiacos (Bartzokas): Hines 6, Law 7 (1), Antic, Spanoulis 9, Perperoglou 5 (1), Shermadini 2, Sloukas, Powell 5, Gecevicius, Printezis 26 (4), Papanikolaou 4, Κatsivelis 3 (1).
Anadolu Efes (Mahmuti): Farmar 8, Vujacic 8, Erden 9, Tunceri, Sipp 2, Gonlum 17, Savanovic 6, Lucas 10 (1), Barac 6.
GIORGOS BARTZOKAS: “It was a typical game, the firs of the series. The pressure is great, especially for the home team and this shows from the percentages in free throws and perimeter shots. Of course, the same goes for Efes that shot with only 5% from outside the arc. We had said that we should go for each possession, so under that prism, we are satisfied from the defense we played on Vujacic and Farmar and not so much from the defense on Gordon. Efes’ games are usually decided by their guards and we did a good job there. It was a balanced game in rebounding, turnovers and finishing plays. What counts is the victory. The way the series is structured, two games here, two in Istanbul and then again here, is kind of tricky. We have to focus on the Friday game. We are going to be more persistent, more focused and more resilient. I hope we win on Friday and make Efes’ task more difficult. It’s not easy to beat a team of that level three times in one week. Congratulations to the players and the fans… Even when Efes reacted, they stood by us and helped us. We are a step away from the Final Four and we all together have to do our best to make it there. We deserve as much. This has been a marathon season and the players deserve a lot of credit for their effort. Ask the players about the ball… It’s not been played with… it’s a very good ball… but we have only been training for four days with it. But the same goes for all the teams. If you start thinking this can be problem, then maybe you’ll have one. Everything is in the head. We shouldn’t be doing this”.
OKTAY MAHMUTI: “Congratulations to Olympiacos. It has been a good and balanced game that was decided during the last 1’:30’’. I have maintained hope since I’ve got involved with sports. We definitely trust ourselves and our players” is what the Turk coach said.