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Olympiacos wins in Malaga!

Olympiacos began the Euroleague TOP-16 games with a victory edging Unicaja in its home court 69-61. A great performance by Othello Hunter.

Olympiacos began the Euroleague TOP-16 games with a victory edging Unicaja in its home court 69-61. A great performance by Othello Hunter.

The Piraeus team entered the TOP-16 Marathon with a victory coming through the home court of the Spanish League Leader Unicaja. Olympiacos has now its first victory for the TOP-16 and next Thursday hosts Emporio Armani Milan.

Our team began the game well. It was trailing in the beginning but with a great defensive game turned the situation a got a 12-14 lead. The entrance of Printezis, Lojeski and Hunter helped the 'reds' with their offense, Spanoulis was passing numerous assists, the other three were scoring continuously and hence Olympiacos was at +3 (29-32) at half time.

The Piraeus team was leading by 6 at 26' (37-43). With a three by Oliver Lafayette the score was 41-46 and with Hunter continuing an excellent job from the first half, the third quarter ended with the team of Giannis Sfairopoulos leading 45-48.

Olympiacos was dominant in the last quarter on both ends of the floor and reached +9 with an amazing Othello Hunter, Spanoulis offering offensive solutions and with Petway doing everything on the floor. Hunter continued dominating and shaped the score 56-64 with a dunk at 38'. Spanoulis gave the Spanish team the final blow and Olympiacos got the 61-69 victory.

The quarters:  12-14, 29-32, 45-48, 61-69.
Unicaja (Plaza): Vasileiadis 3, Toolson 5 (1), Thomas 11, Suarez 3, Granger 15, Vazquez 11 (10 reb), Kuzminskas 12 (2), Stephenson, Green, Golubovic 1.
Olympiacos (Sfairopoulos): Petway 7 (1 3p, 6reb), Hunter 18 (7reb), Dunston 1, Spanoulis 11 (3 3p, 10as), Sloukas 5 (1), Printezis 8 (3reb), Mantzaris, Kavvadas, Lafayette 9 (2 3p), Darden, Lojeski 10 (2).

GIANNIS SFAIROPOULOS:  "Congratulations to my players for the today's victory, we played very well for most part of the game, we controlled the rhythm and played excellent defense. We retained our opponents' percentages at very low levels, 33% at 2-pointers and 18% at 3-pointers and that's the key for the victory. There were moments when we lost our concentration, but for the most part, we moved the ball well and scored easy baskets. We knew that Unicaja is a very good team, a team in all sense of the word. The fact that they played a game against Real just a few days ago, along with the injury of Markovic deprived them of energy. We deserved the victory; we played better for most part of the game".

KOSTAS SLOUKAS:  "It's a very important victory, but it's still the first one for the TOP-16 and there is a long way to go. Our first goal was to restrain them for scoring 70-80 points. Vassilis (Spanoulis) was very good, all defensive plays were adjusted on him and when we stopped passing assists, we began scoring".

MAT LOJESKI:  "It was a very big victory for us for the TOP-16 premiere. The first victory of the year, it was tough because these days are kind of weird, but what counts is that got the victory. Othello played a great game, Vassilis passed many assists, but I think that above all else, we did a great team work".

KOSTAS VASILEIADIS: "Olympiacos kept us at 61 points, we played a great defensive game, we kept Olympiacos at 69 points, we made just 6 turnovers, but we did not make our unguarded shots and thus we lost. Congratulations to Olympiacos, they deserved the victory and I wish them all the best. We are now focusing on the next game for the Spanish League".