Defeat in details

Olympiacos made one more incredible comeback, but lost the victory and the chance of taking the series to 2-0 at details. Olympiacos made one more incredible comeback, but lost the victory and the chance of taking the series to 2-0 at details.

Panathinaikos edged the ‘reds’ 81-79 in OAKA and tied the series 1-1.

Dusan Ivkovic’ team controlled the game in the first half and even went to the locker rooms leading by three points.

A bad five minutes period in the third quarter brought the upset and from leading by 5, Olympiacos trailed even by 16. Everyone thought that the game was over but that was not the case for the Dusan Ivkovic players who fought back and had a one point game just 19’’ before the end. Panathinaikos put the ball in the gym from the center line, the ‘reds’ tried to steal with Diamantides stepping outside the border line without the refs ever calling it. Batiste took advantage of the free pass and made the final 81-78.

Panathinaikos fouled Spanoulis and the captain put in the first free throw missing the second one for his team mates to go for the offensive rebound. Lazaros Papadopoulos was half successful in doing so since he got the ball, but then it slipped through his hands and Panathinaikos got away with the victory.

The quarters: 20-19, 38-41, 67-59, 81-79
Panathinaikos (Οbradovic): Μaric 3, Perperoglou 7, Batiste 11 (7 reb.), Logan, Sato 4, Τsartsaris 2, Diamantides 23 (2/5 3p., 4 as.), Vougioukas 4 , Calathes Ν. 4 (1), Smith 4 (6reb.), Κaimakoglou 11 (1/3 3p., 10 reb.), Jasikevicius 8/
Οlympiacos (Ivkovic): Hines 18, Antic 4, Spanoulis 10, Dorsey 7, Κeselj 2, Papadopoulos, Gecevicius 8 (2/6 3p.), Printezis 10 (1/2 3p.) Papanikolaou 11 (1/4 3p., 9 reb.), Mantzaris 5 (1/3 3p.), Sloukas 4 (1/1 3p.), Katsivelis.

DUSAN IVKOVIC: «It was a very strong game. I expected that the first game when we had made 16 turnovers and Panathinaikos had scored more than 10 points due to them would have taught us something. We were good in regard to that aspect in the first half tonight. We made 4 turnovers and passed 4 assists, but we completely lost control in the beginning of the 3rd quarter. When you have a dead period against such an experienced team like Panathinaikos and you are left trailing by 16 points, it’s difficult to come back. We did it nevertheless. I believe that we lost in details at the end. We had the ball in our hand; Papadopoulos grabbed it and could have sent the game to prorogation. We can learn a lot from this game. The more time goes by, it’s in my team’s advantage, which is a much younger team.

Officiating did not correspond to the level of the final. The criteria and fouls had been disparate. Panathinaikos shot 22 free throws in the first half. In the second half, Mr. Tanatzis warned the Panathinaikos players not to play with their hands… During the last plays and according to what I witnessed with my own eyes, only three meters away from me, Batiste made an offensive foul and Diamantides stepped on the side line. There have also been problems with the timers. The League should take a close look on all of that. It takes organization. Unfortunately, the criteria had not been the same. They were against my team. You can see the video and we’ll talk later… 

Law is a big problem for us. My job however is to play with the players I have available. Of course tonight the game was tough for Mantzaris and Katsivelis who only played for a little while. Mantzaris was very good at some points… For me, the 16-0 streak began from an offensive rebound Sato grabbed against Mantzaris. Law is doing much better. He practiced with the team yesterday and he might play on Sunday”.

VASSILIS SPANOULIS: We controlled the game in the first half. We made some wrong choices next but coming back from trailing by 16 is a positive thing. The game was decided by details and Panathinaikos had been luckier.

We have to remain completely focused. See which our mistakes are but also see what our advantages are and be ready to make 2-1 in the Peace and Friendship stadium.

Both on Monday at the Peace and Friendship stadium and tonight in OAKA the fans had been excellent and they deserve to be congratulated. I hope they continue this way”.

KOSTAS PAPANIKOLAOU: We began well and controlled something that is vital for my team so as to get into rhythm. That is the ratio of assists and turnovers. We had a good tempo and score, but we weren’t as focused in the third quarter. We made too many mistakes without any pressure. Maybe we made some hasty offensive decisions, something that Panathinaikos, due to their experience, exploited and made a 16-0 streak. We tried to reverse the situation and turn the game in our favor. We made it, but did not keep a clear head in the end to carry out the coaches orders. We are now going to the Peace and Friendship Stadium to make 2-1.

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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