A winner again in Rome...
In the same court and in the same city where the most glorious page of the Olympiacos history has been written in all sports, the “red-whites” with Dusan Ivkovic in the bench, just like 13 years and 7 months ago, left the PalaEUR as the winners. This time though, it was not Barcelona in the Euroleague final but rather the host, Virtus Roma, without however, having any trouble edging her.
The “reds” gave their best performance this year in an away game and with Spanoulis leading them in the beginning and Teodosic later on, as well as with Bourousis and Mavrokefalides not even for a moment did they feel the Italian threat.
Olympiacos edged Roma 86-71 and remained at the top of his group after the last day of the first round.
Τhe quarters: 18-24, 40-53, 55-68, 71-86
Roma (Boniciolli): Giachetti 2, Smith 7 (1), Tonolli, Washington 9 (1), Vitali 5 (1), Crosariol 17, Traore 7, Datome 6, Djedovic 5 (1), Dasic, Heytvelt 13 (1)
Οlympiacos (Ivkovic): Νesterovic 8, Spanoulis, 14 (2), Bourousis 16 (2), Keselj 6 (1), Μavrokefalides 12, Νielsen 5, Papanikolaou, Erceg, Τeodosic 15 (2), Katsivelis, Halperin 7 (1), Lucas 3
DUSAN IVKOVIC: «Everybody keeps asking me about 1997. I love Rome. I have accepted offers from the team twice but I never happened to work here. Tradition is what it is and I’m only interested in now and in how I’m going to help my team. What I remember is that the gym had been red. I also remember that we did not sleep that night and when we got back to Athens we could not get off the bus for five hours. The Olympiacos fans are the best and that’s why I work with the same team for the second time in my career, making an exception to my own rules”.
As for the game, he said: “We deserved to win. We had been better from the beginning; we controlled the rhythm and had excellent percentages. In the second half we believed that the game was over and made 7 turnovers. This should not have happened. I don’t like having 14 assists on one hand and 19 turnovers on the other. I pay special attention to this just like in rebounding. We have a new team and new players and I expect we will be getting better every day. There are new regulations in basketball, we have new players on the team and we have been trying to become better every day, lessening our mistakes. Tonight we made our best away game so far and that’s progress. I’m not saying I’m totally satisfied, but we have had some good periods”.
GIANNIS BOUROUSIS: «We had not wanted to make a game like the one in Bamberg. We were very good in defense and from there on we had been able to run fast breaks, open the game and win it. We don’t need to stay at the 53 points of the first half; we will be scoring less in other games. I will repeat that it was defense that gave us easy baskets at fast break. We were never in trouble; we were leading from the beginning. We earned concentration that we had lacked in Bamberg. We look at our own team. Now our most difficult game will be in Madrid”.