A road victory against Lavrio, although a tough one
Olympiacos bested Lavrio on the road 81-76 for the 18th day of the Betshop Basket League. Our team played wearing black ribbons on their jerseys in memoriam of the legendary Alekos Spanoudakis.
The first quarter was absolutely balanced. With a bucket and foul by Briante Weber, Olympiacos got to lead by 3 (11-14, at 5') and that was the widest berth in the game. The hosts put a lot of pressure when defending, led the 'reds' to bad offensive choices, dominated the rebounds, ran the fast break and with a partial 6-0 at the beginning of the second quarter, they got to lead by 6 (28-22, at 12'). David Blatt's players 'struck' from behind the three point arc and came ahead 37-38 at 17', but the hosts replied with a partial 7-2 and closed the first half leading 44-40.
Our team did not succeed in finding rhythm in the 3rd quarter either. Defensive lapses and poor offensive choices allowed the hosts to increase the difference to 7p. (51-44 at 24'). Giorgos Printezis took over at that point (50-51), however, the upset came when Vassilis Spanoulis came into the game. The captain took over the offensive end of the game and helped our team to close the 3rd quarter leading 65-61. But the 'reds' did not still succeed in controlling the game… Bad defense, bad choices and missed rebounds resulted in the game remaining a derby to the end…
Printezis tied the game 75-75 with 1 out of 2 free throws, Milutinov grabbed the offensive rebound, but Williams-Goss turned the ball over, without our team however, paying for that mistake… Weber stole the ball, ran the fast break and made the score 75-77. Milosevic closed in 76-77, Weber also made one free throw to make the score 76-78 with 17''.7 to the end, while the defensive play that followed was decisive since Kouzeloglou missed the chance to send the game to overtime.
Milutinov grabbed the rebound, won a foul and made on of his two free throws making the score 76-79 (3.4'' before the final buzzer). The final 81-76 came by the hands of Williams-Goss who made both his free throws when everything was already decided.
*Giorgos Bogris was also out of the rotation apart from the injured Janis Strelnieks.
Olympiacos' coach, David Blatt, commented: "Before I talk about the game, I would like to take the opportunity and honor the memory of the great and famous player of our team, Spanoudakis, who died yesterday at the age of 91. There have been people who put basketball in the minds in the minds and the hearts of the Greeks, and he had been one of these people. As for the game… When you have difficult and high intensity as well as stressful games for the Euroleague, just like the one we had to play against Buducnost, your tempo is slowed down in the next game. That's what happened today. On the other hand, we should acknowledge the very good job Lavrio made. They played hard and strong and they deserve the credit for it. Just like at school, it's good we had such a tough test and passed".