One victory away from the first place...
The “reds” did their duty in Belgium and easily edged Charleroi 80-67 remaining at the top of their group. Now, Dusan Ivkovic’ team only needs a victory at the last game against Roma in the Peace and Friendship Stadium to finish at the top spot of the B’ group.
In Charleroi, Spirou’s hometown, Olympiacos probably played his best game in the season. Playing excellent defense, with Loukas Mavrokefalides doing a tremendous job and the triplet of Bourousis – Teodosic – Spanoulis loading the opposing basket, the “reds” showed who was the boss from moment one.
With the support of 500 of their fans, Ivkovic’ players made an ideal beginning, with Bourousis scoring 15 points in eight minutes and thus leading 25-14 at the end of the first quarter. The Belgians reacted running an 11-0 score and tying the game 29-29 at half the second quarter but that was as far as they got. Papaloukas and Nesterovic gave their team a safety net again and by the beginning of the second half everything was over taking the lead to even 24 points (56-80) 2’.30’’ before the end.
Τhe quarters: 14-25, 34-42, 50-61, 67-80
Charleroi (Bozzi): Hill 13 (2), Gomis 12 (2), Broyles 4, Hamilton 4, Wright 6, Greene 5 (1), Riddick 2, Mallet 16 (2), Beghin 1, Santiago 4
Οlympiacos (Ίvkovic): Papaloukas 7 (1), Νesterovic 7, Spanoulis 18 (1), Bourousis 19 (3), Κeselj 2, Μavrokefalides 2, Papanikolaou, Erceg 2, Τeodosic 16 (2), Halperin 7 (1), Lucas
DUSAN IVKOVIC: “I really respect the basketball people and all they have been doing in the city. We deserved to win. I wasn’t happy in Malaga, but tonight we played much better”, the Serb coach said at first.
“We stopped Charleroi’s transition game and we created easy baskets. We only lost concentration in the second quarter and in view of the important games that are ahead of us, this has been a good game.
I don’t just like the city because I won a Cup here. It’s one reason, but I mainly respect the work done here in terms of basketball. All teams have problems at this time of the season and are looking to find chemistry.
GIANNIS BOUROUSIS: We keep on being well educated and focused. How I played is of no importance, but rather how the team played.
GIOVANNI BOZZI: When you play a team like Olympiacos, you have to make choices and we chose to protect the post. We did that right, but Bourousis’ three pointers opened the game.
Olympiacos remained focused for 40 minutes and that was the key to the game. We proved that we deserve a spot in the Euroleague and I hope the organizers look to the compliments made by coach Ivkovic both for our team and our city.
Olympiacos is the best team of the group, especially when they play like that. They can make the finals of the competition and they have the man to lead them there.