An easy victory at Rethymno
Olympiacos beat Rethymno 92-58 on the road, for the 21st day of the Betshop Basket League and now steers all its focus on the Friday game (05/04) against Darusafaka, for the last round of the Euroleague regular season.
Apart from the injured Vassilis Spanoulis (who underwent a successful surgery) and Janis Strelnieks, Giorgos Printezis did not also travel to Rethymno (he still has a fever).
Thanks to a good defensive game, Olympiacos significantly contained the hosting team in the first quarter and did not allow them to score more than six points (all of them by Hickey). At the same time, exploiting the team’s superiority in the post, thanks to the presence of Nikola Milutinov and Zack LeDay – the ‘reds’ built a +10 lead (16-6, at 10’). And they did not stop there… They put even more pressure in the defense, ran the fast break and skyrocketed the lead to 18 points (18-36 at 18’).
Relying on Daniels and Hickey, Rethymno closed in at 13p. (25-38) at the end of the first half, however, the ‘reds’ replied with a partial 14-3 streak at the beginning of the 3rd quarter and the lead widened to 24 points (28-52 at 23’). David Blatt tried to rest some players later on and “shuffled” the deck, which allowed the hosts to run a partial 10-0 and close in at 14 (38-52 at 27’). But that was as far as they went…
Zack LeDay put a stop to the ‘dry spell’ the team was facing from behind the 6.75m., Olympiacos got to score easily inside and outside the post, regained complete control (47-76 at 34’) and even got to lead by 37 (55-92) a little before the game ended!. Siggounas wrote the final 85-92 with a three.
The quarters: 6-16, 25-38, 41-63, 58-92.
Rethymno CRETAN KINGS (Ζiagkos): Christodoulou 6(2), Sigkounas 3(1), Burtt 4, Clanton, Hickey 15(1), Ekonomopoulos 3(1), Glyniadakis 6, Razis 8(1), Daniels 8, Bader 3(1), (1), Jones 2.
Οlympiacos (Blatt): Μilutinov 14, Μantzaris 11 (2 3p., 7 as), Williams-Goss 14 (8 as), LeDay 22 (1), Vezenkov 7(1), Αgravanis 3(1), Bogris 2, Τoupane 8 (1), Weber 9.
«We expect him to come back stronger!»
Οlympiacos’ coach, David Blatt, commented: «It is imperative that we play with seriousness and professionalism at any given game. I think my players tried to do that and succeeded. It’s never easy, following a difficult Euroleague game and with only one day to prepare. Nevertheless, this is Euroleague’s challenge. My players made a big effort, they respected the game and played well. I think that everyone had a positive contribution to the game. I’m a huge fan of Crete and I think that basketball and sports in general are a big part of this place. I appreciate the owners of the team and the team itself. It’s wonderful to have basketball in this beautiful island. I’m not surprised that it’s one of the most favorite destinations in the world. I feel lucky to be here”.
About Vassilis Spanoulis: “I talked with Vassilis. His surgery was completely successful and we are all happy about it. Spanoulis made the right decision so that he can return strong. We are happy that he can overcome this and get well. We miss him, not only now… We missed him in the previous games as well. It’s tough for the team to be missing players like Spanoulis and Strelnieks”.
On his part, Vangelis Mantzaris pointed out: “Unfortunately, we have reached a point that qualification to the playoffs does not depend on us. However, we are going to exhaust every opportunity. We were who we are supposed to be against the Lithuanian team for 25 minutes, but not during the last 15 as well. We did not make it unfortunately, but we need to move on. Nothing is over. Big teams distinguish from the mediocre ones when times are tough. It’s then when you can see if you are really a big team. We are going to do all we can to stand tall again. We’ll take it to the end”.
And he went on to say: “I’ll have to be better myself and help as much as I can. That’s what counts. Not the individual performance. We all lose together, we all win together. When we miss players, we all need to step up and do something more to cover for the gaps. That’s what we need to be doing in the following game”.