Once again at the play-offs

Olympiacos edged Khimki 79-70 and is going with a home court advantage to face Anadolou Efes for the play-offs.

Olympiacos edged Khimki 79-70 and is going with a home court advantage to face Anadolou Efes for the play-offs.

Olympiacos made a good start at the game with Powell and Spanoulis shaping a 22-20 lead. In the second quarter, Printezis, Papanikolaou and Law stepped on the accelerator and the ‘reds’ reached a 15 points lead (45-30), but the Russians closed in at 45-41 in the third quarter. Papanikolaou though kept on “shooting” and it was thus the Greek and European Champions maintained the lead.

In the last quarter, Spanoulis and Hines offered assistance to the left handed forward and thus the scale weighed for good in favor of Olympiacos. The ‘reds’ won 79-70 and advanced to the Euroleague play-offs for the eight consecutive season.

Τhe quarters: 22-20, 45-38, 60-57, 79-70

Οlympiacos (Bartzokas) Hines 9 (7 reb), Law 10 (8as), Antic 2, Spanoulis 15 (2), Perperoglou 4, Shermadini, Sloukas, Powell 8 (7reb), Printezis 7, Papanikolaou 21 (6/6 3p. 12 reb.), Katsivelis 3.

Khimki (Kurtinaitis): Augustine 19, Fridzon 8 (2), Koponen 5 (1), Vialcev 4, Loncar 2, Rivers 7 (1), Monia, Planinic 12 (1), Davis 13.

GIORGOS BARTZOKAS: “I don’t need to analyze the game a lot tonight. I would like to congratulate our players for leading the team to the Euroleague TOP-8 , together with the whole staff. It took a lot of work from the whole club. It seems that this system allows those really deserving it to qualify. So, what counts, is that we did what we had to do tonight. We went for every ball with self-sacrifice. Papanikolaou was exceptional, not only for making his three-point shots, but also for his 12 rebounds against a team that according to my opinion has the best front-line in Europe. We have had problems with Printezis, who has not been well. What counts is not the technical analysis of the game but rather the victory and the fact that the fans came here and gave us their support. They do deserve to watch the team at the play-offs and why not, at the Final-Four. All should be proud for the basketball team. We need to tone down and focus on Efes. We have gone after the home-court advantage, but it actually gives us nothing. We only look at the next game. Closing this, I would like to say that we hadn’t lost the game against Siena; I think it should have ended a tie and we could have challenged victory at overtime. But we made it despite of that and we are now at the play-offs”.

RIMAS KURTINAITIS: “Congratulations to Olympiacos. It was a good game tonight. We have had problems with rebounding and missed too many free three point shots. That’s sports, someone is going to lose. We have been using certain players the whole season. We have certainly used up energy, but this is not an excuse. We don’t have any complaints from the refs. Papanikolaou was the one to beat us tonight, it’s tough playing against a player that shoots 6/6 three-pointers”.

It was the end of the '30s when the Olympiacos Basketball team was founded with players form the "Ionidio" School. Great personalities of Greek basketball wore the 'red' shirt, coaches wrote history, victories came and Olympiacos played a leading role inside and outside the Greek borders.

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