One breath away from victory, but...
Playing amazing basketball in the last eight minutes of the game, the ‘reds’ under Dusan Ivkovic came one breath away from making the upset of the year and secure the top ranking spot of the group, but they were edged at the end by Unicaja 76-74.
Olympiacos had been bad till 32’ and was even trailing by 17 points (67-50). At that point, the Piraeus team was awakened and under the leadership of Vassilis Spanoulis who was showing the way and with Teodosic, Keselj, Nesterovic and Erceg scoring, the margin closed. At 37’ the “reds” were leading 69-71 and seemed capable of stealing the victory but they did not last to the end.
The “reds” had the chance to send the game to prolongation in the last offensive play or even win it, but the 3-pointer by Teodosic hit the rim and now Olympiacos shares the top spot with Real Madrid and Unicaja.
With two victories in the games against Charleroi and Roma, the Greek team will win the top spot of the group, since they are better at all possible ties.
Τhe quarters: 17-17, 42-37, 62-50, 76-74
Unicaja (Reneses): Rodriguez 6, Freire 2, Printezis, Barrera 4, Jimenez 5 (1), Tripkovic 8 (2), Blakney 8 (1), Lima, Freeland 12, Archibald 8, Baptist 2, Blanco 21 (3)
Οlympiacos (Ivkovic): Papaloukas 1, Νesterovic 6, Spanoulis 19 (2), Bourousis 6, Κeselj 5 (1), Mavrokefalides 1, Papanikolaou, Erceg 15 (1), Τeodosic 20 (2), Halperin, Lucas 1
DUSAN IVKOVIC: It was a good, tough and strange game. Unicaja deserved the victory because they controlled the game for most of the time, but we came very close to the end and lost just for one shot.
We did not control the game at the level I want in the first half and we allowed Unicaja to score easy baskets in the transition. One more reason I say the game was strange is that because we beat Unicaja in the last quarter, which is her best in her home games. We did not give up and that’s positive. We need to stay focused for the two upcoming games.
The percentage of turnovers and assists had been once again the key to the game and main reason for this defeat.
ZORAN ERCEG: We keep our returning to the game and the good minutes we had at the end. We came close to winning but we didn’t make it. We lost and that’s it.
It’s tough not to play, but I try to give my best and I hope that everyone is patient with me. Results show that we don’t play good away from home and that is something we need to fix.
GIORGOS PRINTEZIS: Tonight Olympiacos did not show his good face, but they will become better as the time passes.
The situation is not the best it could be for me, I think that my punishment is over and I will be given opportunities. I want to finish the season with Unicaja in a successful manner and why not, finish my contract. I believe that I will be having shots at it, the season is a long one.