Two steps away from the first place
Olympiacos beat Panionio as well (73-64) and is now only two steps away from the first place at the end of the Regular season of the League.
The “reds” obviously affected by the defeat at the Cup Final, played without concentration and clear heads, but when needed, took the matter into their own hands and reached an easy victory.
Acie Law playing again can be counted among the positives of the victory. Law played for 14 minutes and was the best player for Olympiacos against the “red and blue”.
Τhe quarters: 17-12, 37-31, 58-54, 73-64
Per quarter: 17-12, 20-19, 21-23, 15-10
Olympiacos (Dusan Ivkovic): Hines 5, Law 9, Antic 1, Spanoulis 9, Dorsey 8, Κeselj 9, Pelekanos 2, Papadopoulos, Gecevicius 8, Printezis 14, Μantzaris 3, Sloukas 5.
Panionios (Giorgos Mpartzokas): Xanthopoulos 8, Keys 9, Stevenson 13, Dibbler 3, Mpatis 3, Jankovic 2, Kavvadas 5, Nadjfei 12, Paragios 2, Barlos 7.
DUSAN IVKOVIC: “I think that we are in good shape and we have a great opportunity against Siena. We are going to start preparing tomorrow and I would like to thank HEBA for giving us an extra day. I believe that this going to help us in view of the play-offs games against Siena.
Panionios played very well and we are going to have a better understanding of our mistakes. This always happens after games with a lot of suspence. Hines had 1/8 shots and he could not even dunk, while Spanoulis had 3/11 shots. We did not have good percentages. Only Law, that did not play the final and at the same time is not a shooter, had 4/4. You see how important psychology is.
The game time did not help us at all. I don’t understand why games are schedules at such hours. The gym was empty and people are at work at that time. Nowhere in the world will you see a game taking place at 4 p.m. on a working day.”
ACIE LAW: “I’m still not 100% ready, but I continue trying and I’m going to be absolutely ready for the games against Siena to give my best.
I don’t think that our minds were at the games against Siena. Panionios played very well and a very strong game and we just weren’t good. We only upped the tempo at the end and did some things”.
VANGELIS MANTZARIS: “It was a bad game for us, we did not have any concentration and we got into trouble. We have two games left for the League which we have to win, but we now have the Euroleague play-offs ahead of us and we are going to Siena to try for the best. Where ever we play this season, we play to win. We have to give credit to Panionios, but we hadn’t been focused”.
GIORGOS BARTZOKAS: “I whole heartedly wish for Olympiacos to qualify for the Final Four. They are a very good team and with a full roster with the only exception the absence of Papanikolaou (down with the flu). We have had problems for a whole month, injuries, we haven’t been practicing well and we play under pressure because we want to be at the third place. Both because Panionios is a big name for Greek Basketball and also because we have ambition. I had said that we should have luck with us for the game tonight and at the same time be very good at certain aspects of the game. We did a very good job for most of the game and until 37’ we were keeping our chances for victory intact. However, we should have shot better from the perimeter and a 25% three-point shots is not satisfactory, but finally too many mistakes and a very short period of nervous playing cost us the result”.
VASSILIS XANTHOPOULOS: “I do wish to congratulate my team mates. We were coming off of a bad month. I believe we are going to be ready for the play-offs and I think we should have gotten something better from this game. We were very good for 32-35 minutes. We continue working hard and I want to wish Olympiacos all the best”.