First and the best
Olympiacos was impressive and with the help of 10.000 fans had a party against Caja Laboral and won the first place of his group. The players of Panagiotis Giannakis, with Childress and Schortsanites as their leaders, scattered the Basques and reached an easy victory 102-85.
Caja began the game better and using its great percentages in three point shots led even by 11 (10-21). The coming of Beverly on court changed the balance and the “red and whites” not only covered the difference but also were leading by the end of the first half.
The foundations for the victory were put in just three minutes. From 22 to 25 the ball was … lost in the SEF and Olympiacos ran an impressive 15-0 that actually led him to an easy victory and the first place. What does this mean? That the next game against Khimki in Russia is actually with of no interest and Prokom is going to be the last obstacle to the marching of the Giannakis team to the Paris Final Four.
The quarters: 22-29, 49-45, 80-61, 102-85.
Olympiacos (Panagiotis Giannakis): Papaloukas 6, Penn, Childress 20 (1), Vujicic 14, Halperin, Kleiza 17, Mavrokefalides 4, Vassilopoulos 2, Beverly 6, Teodosic 14 (2), Schortsanites 19.
Caja Laboral (Dusko Ivanovic): Ribas 3 91), Singletary 2, Huertas 6, Elijahu 4, Teletovic 25 (4), San Emeterio 11 91), English 14 (3), Oleson 2, Herrmann 2, Barac 11 (1).
Panagiotis Giannakis: “For one more game the team has played very good basketball. Although the guys have faced a team that can drive you to panic the way they function in offense with many fast shots, they showed stability in their effort. We had wanted to control the rebounds, watch out for turnovers and finally put on the court both good and substantial basketball. We managed to top our group in the TOP-16 after a very long time, without lose one game until now and we want to continue this way and be even better. We have to remain modest, respect our opponents and work even more. Congratulations to our fans, who have helped us, despite the nervousness created in the beginning by the opponent’s lead.
Watching our games, one can see a balance close and away from it. We try to be mentally ready for every game. There have been times when we faced adversities, but found the solutions and that’s what’s important. It’s difficult and takes years for someone to acquire, to have focus and calm in such cases. But I think, that our progress has been impressive, especially in such short time. We have been improving and that’s important for us”.
THEODOROS PAPALOUKAS: “We had wanted this victory very much in order to get the first place of the group. We hadn’t wanted to travel to Russia and go after results. We played very good basketball for the TOP-16 round and reached our goal. Caja is a great team, but we showed to have character as a team. We started out badly, but then we managed to do what we had to do and offered a great show for our fans that came to see us tonight. From my experience, I can tell you that Prokom is going to be tough. In games like that, the team with the home court advantage has a slight heads on. We shouldn’t allow them to play with enthusiasm. We have to remain focused”.
JOSH CHILDRESS: “The game was very important for us. We played very strong defense and got the first place of our group. Prokom has a very good team and plays a fast game. We have to remain focused to qualify to the Final – Four”.