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A defeat due to details

Olympiacos lost 82-77 in Madrid and is now trailing the series 2-0, a series that transfers in Piraeus on Easter Monday.

Our team made a good start in the game and was leading 6-11 at 3’. Some mistakes in defense allowed the hosts to tie the game 13-13 in the first five minutes of the game. Each time the Spaniards were trying to build a safety net, the Back2Back European Champions were answering back and with Giorgos Printezis taking action Thrylos closed in 21-19. However, the lack of concentration in defense during the last three minutes allowed Real Madrid to lead 30-23 at the end of the first quarter.

The Madrilène continued shooting impossible shots in the second quarter being frustratingly on target. The difference reached its peak at 14’ (41-27). Collins, Petway and Dunston provided assistance on both ends of the floor and Olympiacos closed in 51-43, while half-time ended 53-44.

In the beginning of the second half, our captain took over and with continuous threes made a three point game at 22’ (55-52). Real sent the difference once again at +10, but the team of Giorgos Bartzokas had an eight point game at the end of the third quarter (70-62).

During the first five minutes of the last quarter our team only scored one point and Real once again sent the difference at +10 (75-63) at 35’. Our team once again went for a major upset during the last five minutes of the game, made a five point game (80-75), but Dunston missed a great opportunity to bring Olympiacos close to the score by one basket at 30’’ before the end and the game ended 82-77 for the hosts.

The quarters: 30-23, 53-44, 70-62, 82-77.

Real Madrid (Laso): Fernandez 15 (2), Reyes 8 (2), Diez, Mirotic 14 (2), Rodriguez 11 (2), Darden 2, Llull 11 (2), Bourousis 19 (1), Slaughter 2, Mejri.
Olympiacos (Bartzokas): Petway 12 (3), Shermadini, Dunston 12 (9reb), Spanoulis 18 (3), Papapetrou 4, Sloukas 3, Collins 3 (1), Printezis 10, Mantzaris 2, Lojeski 13.

GIORGOS BARTZOKAS:  “It was a typical Euroleague play-offs game, very intense and with a lot of contact and nerves on sides. But also with some very good basketball in terms of the crucial nature of the game. Real began amazingly well in the first half shooting 9/14 threes and also having Reyes shoot 2/2, something we had not seen coming. With a couple of changes in defense in the second half we came back into the game, we contained Real’s offense at half compared to the first half. Unfortunately, however, we missed some unguarded shots, we missed free throws and to beat Real Madrid here you have to do more than that. Now the series comes to our home court. We want to come back here for a fifth game, but we know it’s not going to be easy. Now the only we think about is the game on Monday and nothing else”.

Next the Greek coach pointed out that “we have a team that has many new faces, we have 7 new players compared to last season’s roster, plus we have lost our main point guard, Law. Having qualified to the play-offs despite the many injuries and the bad luck, shows that this team has character, which is important in itself. Many of our players not only have they not played a Euroleague play-off game before, they hadn’t even played the competition. We become better each passing day”.

The Olympiacos coach was asked by the condition of Stratos Perperoglou, as well as on not using Centric Simmons and he replied that “Stratos’ condition, as well as Simmons is one more unfortunate incident, an example of what has been tormenting us the whole season. Stratos has a very high fever and Centric has a pull in the adductor muscles, an injury that can evolve to a tear, so we decided not to use him”.