Restart in Podgorica!
Olympiacos beat Buducnost on the road 89-76 (for the 25th round of the Euroleague) and hence put a stop to an unfortunate losing streak.
The 'reds' took advantage of their superiority in the post and relying on Nikola Milutinov and GiorgosPrintezis built a +11 difference (4-15 at 4'). However, Olympiacos suffered a total offensive black out after that and the hosts with Cole and Clarke leading the team, went ahead running a 12-0 streak (16-15). David Blatt's players reacted at once… Playing good defense (mainly thanks to Mantzaris and Toupane and their defense on the hosts key players) and using their good perimeter percentages, regained full control (30-42 at 16') and closed the fist half at +17 (34-51).
In the 3rd quarter, the 'reds' completed dominated rebounding, moved the ball extremely well and with Sasha Vezenkov spearheading the attack, increased the difference to +24 (39-63 at 24'). The Podgorica team took advantage of the absence of Milutinov (David Blatt sat him out to get some necessary resting time), passed the ball inside the post and closed in at 16 points (49-65 at 27'). However, as soon as the Serbian center came back on the floor, he got to restore order (51-71 at 28').
Our team got to lead even by 23 (60-83 at 33'), however, bad defensive plays and poor choices, allowed the hosts to close in at 12p. (74-86 at 38').But that was as far as they went… Thanks to solidifying defense, our team remained at a safe distance, with Spanoulis putting his seal on a very important victory with a three.
The quarters: 21-27, 34-51, 54-73, 76-89.
Buducnost (Repesa): Jackson 13 (2), Cole 10, Suad Sehovic 8 (2), Earl Clark 9, Barovic 13, CotyClarke 9 (1), Gordic 6 (1), Bell, Nikolic 5 (1), Williams 3
Οlympiacos (Blatt): Weber 7 (1), Williams-Goss12 (2), Τoupane 13 (3), Spanoulis 5 (1), Τimma, Μilutinov 15 (12 rebound), Vezenkov 12 (2 3p, 5 reb, 2 as), Printezis 19 (1), Papanikolaou 3 (1), Μantzaris 3 (1 3p, 5 reb, 3 as), Bogris, LeDay
"It was a very positive moment"
Olympiacos' coach, David Blatt, commented: "It's not a secret I love playing basketball in this area. The fans are so passionate and basketball is always good and competitive. The game was very important for us tonight. We went through a very difficult period, we missed players to injuries, illnesses and we have been dealing with performance issues by key players. It's difficult, especially when you have the schedule we have had during the past month and a half. But my players came through. It's not a secret that this team has beaten the best teams of Europe in this court. So for us to come here, play such a game and win it, it's a very positive moment. As for the way we have played, when you have 26 assists and you score 90 points, there is only conclusion for me…You make your shots. Some people say that assists are an issue of sense, good chemistry and more…To me, nothing of that is true. You make assists when the player that receives the ball scores. That's it. Don't let yourselves fooled by anything else. So, I'm not going to tell you that I did a good job. Simply, my players passed the ball and made their shots. So now everyone looks good, the coach, the players… But this is how it's done some times. There are other things in the game of course, like rebounding, turnovers, percentages, free throws…When you have three of these categories in your favor, you win. It's simple and that what we did tonight. And it's great!"
When a reporter talked about the good performance by Nigel Williams-Goss, he pointed out: "I should have never been asked about Goss. He's a good player, but he's also a rookie and this means he's going to have good and bad days. My job is to continue believing in him and give him the chance to succeed. If he doesn't, then it's going to be my fault that I chose him, believed in him and signed him. He obviously came out tonight and did a very good job. He's going to have nights as this one, just like he's going to have bad nights as well. That's part of being a rookie. The same goes for the team.We have some very good veteran players and some very young ones. Olympiacos is going through a process this season. But you have to stick with your players, believe in them and allow them the chance to succeed, even when things don't go well. That's what being a coach means".
On the way Olympiacos performed, he admitted that… "We indeed made things simple. One reason we have been facing problems is that I've been doing many different things. It's my fault, me, the coach. So this past week we really tried to make things simpler at practice. This had a positive impact on both ends of the floor. Fortunately, since the ball went in, everything seems fine. But the main thing is that I tried to make things simpler for my players and they did an excellent job".