A new victory for Olympiacos
Without playing an impressive game, but rather playing just enough, the players of Dusan Ivkovic reached their third victory in the competition. The “red-whites” edged Charleroi 86 – 78 with Nesterovic and Gordon being the best players of the team.
The “red-whites” began at an upbeat tempo and quickly led 23-8, but slowed down as the game progressed. The lead reached 19 points in the second half (69-50) but the team slowed down once again giving the Belgians the opportunity to come back, without however becoming threatening.
Τhe quarters: 23-16, 42-33, 64-50, 86-78
Οlympiacos (Ivkovic): Νesterovic 18, Spanoulis 15 (1), Bourousis 7, Keselj 3 (1), Pelekanos, Μavrokefalides 7, Νielsen 12 (1), Papanikolaou 7 (1), Τeodosic 10 (2), Lucas 7 (1)
Charleroi (Bozzi): Hill 14, Gomis 13 (1), Broyles 12 (2), Hamilton 1, Wright 11, Greene 8 (1), Riddick 6, Mallet 10 (2), Santiago 3
DUSAN IVKOVIC: I had been expecting a difficult game because we were playing an experienced team. Charleroi has very good guards with lots of experience, but also big guys who play for some time in the league. Their game relies on fast breaks. We had been good in the first half, considering the time frame. We faced some problems in the last quarter. They scored 28 points, which are too many. We cannot only rely on Teodosic’s 3-point shots and some other plays. We really missed Papaloukas who gives tremendous help at organizing.
What worries us is the opponent had more balls. It’s an important element. We edged Panionios due to having more balls. Pressing defense and rebounds decide a game.
I believe that when the time is critical the fans will be here to help us.
ΜATT NIELSEN: We had been disappointing at the end. We did a good job, but unfortunately this does not show in the score. If we want to stay positive, we shall keep the first 30 minutes and forget about the last one. Of course, what counts is the victory and we cannot pass by 30 minutes of good basketball. We shall try to correct the mistakes of the last quarter.
RADOSLAV NESTEROVIC: It was a tough game. Charleroi is a very fast team that plays up tempo and is likely to damage you. They tried to execute fast and used some tricks, however, we faced them pretty well. It’s still very early in the season and we have been trying to find our rhythm. It’s logical to have some ups and downs in our performance. That’s how I can explain the slow down at the end. We must expect that all teams that come here have a great motivation to beat us, but Olympiacos is one of the best teams in Europe.
JAMON GORDON: I played well, but I’m only interested in having won. We dangerously slowed down in the last quarter, while we played quite well in the previous 32 minutes of the game; we should have controlled the rhythm better, nevertheless, it’s the victory that counts. The Charleroi players began with many difficult shots that found target, if you let such kind of teams get into rhythm, and then they are capable in making your life difficult. Our problem was that when we led by 17-18 points, we did not have the right attitude and we slowed down. We are still in the beginning of the season and we should be working on many aspects of our game; we are professionals and we have to do what’s needed and what our coach asks from us. Teo was missing tonight, but I’d rather have him with us on the court, than score myself. Teo creates a lot of offensive situations for us and we need him. He respects me and leads me on the court, so I’d rather have him with me on the court when I play.
GIOVANNI BOZZI: We had known that Olympiacos is a very good team, but we showed way too much respect. We had a major problem in coping with pick n’roll with Nesterovic and the poor defense by Santiago. Olympiacos quickly led by 10. We made fewer mistakes later and fought as much as we could. When you make few mistakes and you fight for the rebounds, you can be competitive. I’m satisfied by our performance.