A victory at the premiere
A premiere always hides traps, but Olympiacos managed to overcome them and begin this season’s Euroleague in the best way possible.
The ‘reds’ under Giorgos Bartzokas beat Caja Laboral 85-81, with Spanoulis, Perperoglou and Printezis being the best players of the team.
In front of 8000 fans, the Greek and European Champions began rather stressed against the Spanish team in a game that had a lot of score upsets.
The quick tempo helped the Spaniards stay close to the score but at the end, the Olympiacos players kept a clear head and with the help of their fans reached victory.
The quarters: 18-23, 48-37, 65-66, 85-81
Olympiacos (Barztokas): Hines 6 (6 reb, 2 st.), Law 4, Antic 9 (1), Spanoulis 16 (2 3p., 6 as.), Perperoglou 14 (2), Dorsey 7, Sloukas 6 (2 3p., 5 reb.), Mavroeidis 1, Printezis 17 (3), Papanikolaou 5 (1), Mantzaris
Caja Laboral (Ιvanovic): Nocioni 11, Sonseca, 9 (1), San Emeterio 11 (1), Huertel 6 (1), Oleson 13 (1), Lampe 18 (1), Ν. Bjelica 11 (1), Causeur
GIORGOS BARTZOKAS: “We wish to thank the fans that came tonight to the gym. What we expected is what happened… That is, we did not have a constant good performance, we did not have rhythm and we knew we didn’t. CSKA won by only one basket in its home court tonight. The pressure is too big. The expectations for our team are huge.
We had foul problems and had to use players that weren’t ready for the game very early into it. Just like Law, who was out of practices for one month. But I have the feeling that each game and practice is going to make us better. We are going to see what we did right in the analysis we are going to make. What’s important is to prepare Law so that he can play more. Tonight we chose a certain defense with a lot of rotations to avoid Caja’s game that involves a lot of penetrations and a lot of passes. We rotated in the screens and blocked their circulation. We won rather easily but it was obvious that we were very stressed tonight. Caja has played a lot of official games and they are definitely readier than us. We were at a disadvantage but we knew we would be. We wanted the victory even by one point and that’s what happened”
STRATOS PERPEROGLOU: “A Euroleague premiere is always difficult, we played well but did not manage to control their fast breaks and that’s what kept them in the game. As the time passes we are going to becoming better through games and practices. I tried my leg in the morning; it felt fine so I came in to help the team, just like all the guys do. We are going to be readier in the future”.
KYLE HINES: “We did not play well and we made a lot of mistakes in defense. We gave Caja the chance to run and score easy baskets. They are an experienced and very well prepared team. We are going to have and correct a lot of things and improve our game. I would like to congratulate our fans, because they helped us a lot to win the game”.
DUSKO IVANOVIC: “Congratulations to Olympiacos, for playing a good game. We did not make a good start, we made a lot of mistakes, but we corrected our defense on Spanoulis in the course of the game. Despite that, we managed to score 16 points. We should have won, but we did not play the way we should have in defense during the last minutes”.