2-0 by … walking
This time the Dusan Ivkovic’ players started out with maximum concentration against Panionios and showed they would reach 2-0 just by … walking.
And that’s exactly what happened. The “reds” were excellent in both defense and offense with captain Vassilis Spanoulis putting on a show. During his new born son’s first visit to the gym, V-Span was excellent both in scoring (21 points) as well as in organization (7 assists).
The game does not stand criticism since Olympiacos completely controlled it from the beginning. However, the game had some negative aspects, since apart from Papanikolaou (who did not play for precautionary reasons due to back problems), Marko Keselj was injured in the knee, while Acy Law felt discomfort in the half time (probable food poisoning) and did not play in the second half.
The quarters: 27-6, 49-30, 73-48, 90-65
Οlympiacos (Ivkovic): Hines 9, Law 3, Antic 8 , Spanoulis 21 (3/3 3p., 7 as.), Vassilopoulos 4 (1), Dorsey 4 (8 reb.), Κeselj 8 (2), Gecevicius 10 (2), Glyniadakis 7, Printezis 7, Mantzaris 3, Sloukas 6.
Panionios (Bartzokas): Xanthopoulos 3 (1), Keys 13 (1), Αthanassoulas 4, Dimpler 10 (2), Kavvadas 1, Ιoannou 7, Sarikopoulos 8, Natzjfei, 13 (1) Paragios 3 (1), Barlos 3.
DUSAN IVKOVIC: It was a different game compared to the first one. It was decide in the first quarter. My team was serious, with reaction and good defense. Panionios got adjusted later. They are a good team. Nevertheless, we weren’t as good in the second half. We made eight turnovers and not even under pressure. We know we are up against a very different game on Saturday. We have been having some minor problems. Law threw up due to a viral infection. Keslej received a blow, while Papanikolaou did not play due to back problems. The medical staff is very busy. In less than forty two hours we played the second semifinal and that is what is going to happen with the third one. That’s where we need to be ready.
KYLE HINES: I’m happy with our defense in the beginning of the game. We controlled the game and found ways to score. We established a wide lead early on and that’s what decided the game. We are in the best shape possible. We have some time to rest and get ready for the Euroleague Final Four. We still need to improve on some details and we are going to be doing that game by game.
GIORGOS BARTZOKAS: Congratulations to Olympiacos for a good game and the victory. The score of the first quarter has been 27-6 and that’s what decided the game. We played next without any pressure and complexes due to the difference, but we did not accomplish anything substantial. Fatigue is one of the factors that have played a negative effect on us. We have had many injuries and our guards have to play a lot. This hurts us, but in general, the series against Panionios can only benefit my players, especially the young one. See you on Saturday.
ΖISIS SARIKOPOULOS: We did not start out well. We were bad in both offense and defense. We did not put up a strong defense. Even the fouls we made were poor, since a lot of them produced additional free throws. The game was decided in its beginning. From the second quarter on, we tried, we got improved, but this was not enough. Saturday is going to be a totally different game and we are going to approach it from a different angle. We are going to fight for the best result possible.