First step made…
After the victory at the derby, Olympiacos needed seven wins to finish at the top of the League’s Regular season. Now, it only takes six because the team went through the toughest home court unharmed.
The “reds” beat Kolossos 78-64 accelerating during the second half with Printezis and Papanikolaou giving a great boost.
Olympiacos began well defense wise at the “Venetoklio” but faced enormous problems in offense. That resulted in the first half closing at 26-24 in favor of Kolossos and anxiety overcame the fans of the “reds”. But this was not the case for the Dusan Ivkovic’ players that entered the second half in a better shape and quickly led with safety.
The refs: Christodoulou, Papapetrou, Mpitis
The quarters: 11-11, 26-24, 35-48, 64, 78.
Κolossos (Grangias): Liakopoulos 9 (1), Hutten 16(2), Georgalis, Αsimakopoulos 5(1), Boykin 16(3 3p.), Charisis 7, Τsamis 7(1 3p., 5 assists), Hopson 5, Κompodietas, Αvgenikos
Οlympiacos (Ιvkovic): Hines 7, Law 10(1), Antic 6, Spanoulis 10(2 3p., 8 assists), Dorsey 8, Κeselj, Gecevicius, Printezis 14, Papanikolaou 9(2), Mantzaris 3(1), Sloukas 11(1)
Dusan Ivkovic: We played completely different in the two halves. It seemed that we were under pressure in the first one. I don’t know the reason for this. I have great respect for Kolossos and the way they have been playing. They played well in the Peace and Friendship Stadium and in tonight’s game. Our first goal had been to stop their fast breaks and easy baskets. Kolossos ranks first in the League in fouls drawn.
We did not play basketball in the first half. We only scored 24 points and Kolossos played good defense. However, we must only see what we do. Maybe it was the game time to blame as well, the game was played really early. In the second half we were much better, passed a lot of assists and won a victory deserved.
Kolossos, like I had said in the Peace and Friendship Stadium, is a very good team, plays modern basketball and I wish them all the best. Kolossos deserves to play in Europe, it’s going to be good for the sport. Of course, there are more issues that Kolossos needs to address. But I wish them to play in Europe anyway.
Joey Dorsey: In the first half we made a very bad game quality wise. We were under too much pressure without any actual reason in the first half. We were keeping the ball too much and the score was too low. We made a stronger start in the second half and stopped their fast breaks, which had also been our primary goal. We passed the ball well and we finally won.
Vassilis Frangias: I would like to congratulate Olympiacos for a victory well deserved. I would like to thank coach Ivkovic for his kind comments. Olympiacos was very good in the second half. I had also said before the game that here we have different sizes. We tried to remain competitive, but we got tired eventually. Olympiacos found rhythm in the third quarter, ran, opened the game and we had not been able to deal with that.
We have a much shorter roster. To set the record straight, Olympiacos and Panathinaikos are by far better than the rest of the Greek teams. I’m very happy with my players, because, although Olympiacos was leading by far, we fought and closed the margin. I don’t know what would have happened if Hopson had made the basket and we had a six point game. I can’t complain about my players. They gave all they had on the floor. We have to play a very difficult game in Kavala in 10 days.
I wish the coach all the best in Greece and in Europe. It’s very important for Greek basketball for both Olympiacos and Panathinaikos to make the Final Four. We continue with hard work.
Dimitris Kompodietas: First of all we would like to thank the Rhodes fans for coming to the gym. I hope they enjoyed the show. Olympiacos was coming from a big win at the derby against Panathinaikos. We tried in the first half, pressed all over and kept Olympiacos at low scoring levels. Olympiacos made the shots in the second half and got a fair victory. We could not keep up with them. I wish Olympiacos the best in both Greece and Europe. We wait for Giorgos Kalaitzis to join us from the next game, to come back healthy and our goal is to continue a good presence in the League.