An easy walk...
The “reds” played a tight and focused game against Panionios and when that happens then they have no problems against any rival. Olympiacos made a healthy walk against the Nea Smirni team as the final 82-63 proves.
Dusan Ivkovic had the chance to give minutes to all his players and try many different rotations with the tempo remaining equally good at all times.
Panionios played hard and tried to resist, but Olympiacos led by Papaloukas, Teodosic and Halperin had no problem reaching a 15-0 record and thus remaining alone at the top ranking spot.
The quarters: 25-19, 43-35, 67-51, 82-63
Olympiacos (Dusan Ivkovic): Papaloukas 10, Nesterovic 9, Spanoulis 4, Bourousis 3, Keselj 1, Mavrokefalides 12, Halperin 13 (3), Nielsen 2, Papanikolaou 4, Erceg 9 (1), Teodosic 8, Katsivelis 2
Panionios (Giorgos Bartzokas): Anderson 12 (1), Athanassoulas 2, Aleksic 4, Giannopoulos 6 (1), Tsiaras 4, Athineou 3, Batis 7 (1), Ioannou 4, Sarikopoulos 2, Kovil 7, Paragios 6, Barlos 6 (1)
DUSAN IVKOVIC:” Vassilopoulos got injured yesterday during the last minutes of the practice session and no one was with high spirits. There was also the memorial service this morning about the tragic accident with the fans that lost their lives”, the Olympiacos coach commented and then referred to the game: “Panionios forced us to focus and play well. This helped us keep up the tempo. Spanoulis felt some discomfort with his ankle and that’s why he did not play the second half.
I cannot understand why we cannot have an extra day to prepare the game against Valencia which is the most important to us. Why can’t we play Saturday? I don’t think this would happen in any other country. Are the viewing rates for the Ikaros game against Olympiacos going to be so huge that the game cannot be moved to another day?
Vassilopoulos sprained his knee with 1’32’’ for the practice to go. He has a contusion in the inner side ligament and the meniscus. We are going to have a more complete diagnosis to determine if the crisscross ligaments are also hurt”.
KOSTAS PAPANIKOLAOU: The victory is dedicated to the victims of Gate 7 and their families. We did not play our best game, but we managed to win all quarters. We played smart. Now we have the game against PAOK ahead of us, where we have gained a lead, but we still have to play focused.
GIORGOS BARTZOKAS: Olympiacos got the victory, as expected. The issue had been how to convince our players to approach the said game. We wanted to gain something out of it, but we made many cheap mistakes and under no pressure, just out of fear for the shirt against us. We now have to learn from our mistakes and become more competitive in such games.
CHARIS GIANNOPOULOS: Just when Olympiacos pressed us defensively, we made some mistakes and they broadened their lead. We have to try and win every game and not just try to play well.