2016-17Final FourSemifinal
May 19, 2017 CET: 17:30
Local time: 18:30 SINAN ERDEM DOME

Spanoulis leads another comeback to send Olympiacos to title game!

Olympiacos Piraeus will play for its fourth EuroLeague title after erasing a 13-point deficit to beat CSKA Moscow 78-82 in a thrilling first semifinal at the 2017 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four at Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey, on Friday. The game was tied entering the final minute after Vassilis Spanoulis fueled a patented Olympiacos comeback with 10 fourth-quarter points. Erick Green came through with a big go-ahead three, which was one of 14 the Reds made to tie a Final Four record. And CSKA did not make another basket. Spanoulis, who also dished a game-high 6 assists, was joined by Georgios Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou as the team’s top scorers with 14 points apiece. Vangelis Mantzaris added 12 on 4-of-9 three-point shooting. That foursome was all on the Reds’ squad that came from behind to defeat CSKA in the 2012 championship game in the very same arena. Milos Teodosic led CSKA with 23 points, which moved him into eighth place on the Final Four all-time list of scorers with 148 points. Nando De Colo added 16 and Aaron Jackson had 12, while Victor Khryapa collected 8 rebounds to become the first man with more than 100 career boards in Final Four history. The Reds outrebounded CSKA 35-43, including 19 offensive rebounds, which helped make up for its poor 11-of-35 two-point shooting (31.4%). Olympiacos also dished 15 assists compared to 7 for CSKA.

First quarter: 11-0 run puts CSKA in charge

De Colo needed just 13 seconds to swish a stop-and-pop jumper and Aaron Jackson bettered Nikola Milutinov's layup with a three-pointer that gave CSKA a 5-2 lead. De Colo kept pacing his team with a driving layup, but Printezis hit a floater off the dribble and Spanoulis added free throws to keep Olympiacos within 7-6. Kostas Papanikolaou struck from downtown to give Olympiacos its first lead, 7-9, after a 0-7 run. Andrey Vorontsevich buried a five-meter jumper and Jackson added foul shots to restore a CSKA edge. De Colo hit free throws and Teodosic had the final 5 points in an 11-0 run that boosted CSKA's lead to 18-9. Ioannis Papapetrou split foul shots and a tip-in by Printezis brought Olympiacos a bit closer, 18-12, after 10 minutes.

Second quarter: Teodosic shines, CSKA extends lead

Printezis split free throws early in the second quarter and a layup by Khem Birch made it a 3-point game. James Augustine stepped up with a couple of put-back layups, but Papapetrou sank a left-handed jump hook and Vangelis Mantzaris added a triple that ignited the Olympiacos crowd at 22-20. De Colo returned to the foul line to 2 two more and Kyle Hines added a layup to give CSKA some fresh air at 26-20. De Colo took over with a driving layup that caused Olympiacos to stop the game at 28-20. Hines provided a highlight with a two-handed slam that gave CSKA its first double-digit lead, 30-20. Printezis followed a three-pointer with free throws, but a red-hot Teodosic struck twice from downtown and added a foul shot for a 37-25 CSKA lead. Spanoulis hit free throws and found Mantzaris for a three-pointer, and Dimitrios Agravanis beat the halftime buzzer with a wild bomb from downtown to bring the Reds within 40-33 at halftime.

Third quarter: Papanikolaou, Mantzaris keep Olympiacos close

Milutinov took over with an alley-oop layup immediately after the break and Papanikolaou fired in a three-pointer, but De Colo singlehandedly kept CSKA fully in charge, 44-38. CSKA entered the foul penalty with eight minutes left in the quarter, however, and Olympiacos was fully aware. Printezis made free throws and another triple by Papanikolaou brought Olympiacos within 46-43. Nikita Kurbanov made foul shots, Milutinov split attempts and a three-pointer by Jackson extended CSKA's lead to 51-44. Printezis and Hines traded free throws before a jumper by Teodosic boosted his team's lead to 55-46. Victor Khryapa and Cory Higgins hit foul shots, but Papanikolaou followed a triple with a jump hook and Mantzaris also struck from beyond the arc, which caused CSKA to call timeout at 60-54. Teodosic and Higgins kept pacing CSKA, but back-to-back three-pointers by Agravanis and Mantzaris got Olympiacos within 64-60 after 30 minutes.

Fourth quarter: down to the wire - again!

Agravanis made free throws early in the fourth quarter and Khryapa split attempts for a 65-62 CSKA lead. That’s when Spanoulis came off the bench and delivered with a driving layup, but De Colo erased it with a jumper and Augustine added a tip-in for a 69-64 CSKA edge. Olympiacos called timeout and Green finished a three-chance offense with a three-pointer. A driving layup by Spanoulis soon tied it at 69-69 with over four minutes left. Jackson shined with an electric driving layup, but Spanoulis matched him to tie the game again, 71-71. Jackson kept pacing CSKA with foul shots, but a step-back three-pointer by Spanoulis completed Olympiacos's comeback, 73-74, with 1:53 remaining. Spanoulis found Birch for an alley-oop slam, but a three-pointer by Teodosic tied it at 76-76. Green answered from downtown, off the dribble, for a 76-79 Olympiacos edge with 41.9 seconds on the clock. Teodosic split free throws on the next possession, but Spanoulis did the same with a chance to ice the game. It came down to Higgins, who went to the line with his team down 3 in the closing seconds. After making the first, he intentionally missed the second, but his team was unable to grab the rebound and the Olympiacos section erupted in song knowing they will play for the title on Sunday.

Vassilis Spanoulis - Olympiacos Piraeus - Final Four Istanbul 2017 - EB16
Friday, May 19, 2017
Euroleague.net
Referees: HIERREZUELO, DANIEL (ESP), JAVOR, DAMIR (SLO), LOTTERMOSER, ROBERT (GER)
Attendance: 13967
By Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow18222414
Olympiacos Piraeus12212722
End of Quarter1234
CSKA Moscow18406478
Olympiacos Piraeus12336082
CSKA Moscow
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 DE COLO, NANDO 32:51 16 5/11 0/3 6/6   1 1 3 1 1     4 5 12
4 TEODOSIC, MILOS 21:49 23 2/5 4/8 7/9   2 2 1 1 3   1 1 4 17
5 AUGUSTINE, JAMES 16:01 6 3/6   0/2 4 2 6   1     1 2 2 7
7 FRIDZON, VITALY 4:45                         1 1  
9 JACKSON, AARON 25:26 12 1/3 2/2 4/4       1 1 1     4 4 11
11 ANTONOV, SEMEN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
19 FREELAND, JOEL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
20 VORONTSEVICH, ANDREY 18:49 2 1/1 0/1   1 3 4           3   2
22 HIGGINS, CORY 23:21 6 1/4   4/5 2 4 6   1 4 1   3 3 6
31 KHRYAPA, VICTOR 21:13 3 0/1 0/1 3/4   8 8 2 1       1 4 14
41 KURBANOV, NIKITA 11:46 2 0/2 0/1 2/2 2   2         1 3 2 -1
42 HINES, KYLE 23:59 8 3/5   2/2   3 3     1 2   2 1 9
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 78 16/38 6/16 28/34 10 25 35 7 6 10 3 3 24 26 80
        42.1% 37.5% 82.4%
Head coach: ITOUDIS, DIMITRIS
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Olympiacos Piraeus
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 GREEN, ERICK 19:36 8 0/5 2/3 2/2 1   1     1     2 2 2
2 BIRCH, KHEM 16:43 4 2/3     2 2 4       2 1 2   6
4 YOUNG, PATRIC 8:04   0/1       1 1   1   1   1 1 2
5 TOLIOPOULOS, VASSILIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
6 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS 13:49 3 1/4 0/2 1/2 2   2 2 1       2 3 3
7 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 28:40 14 3/4 1/6 5/6   1 1 6   3   1 3 6 13
9 WATERS, DOMINIC DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
10 AGRAVANIS, DIMITRIOS 14:59 8   2/4 2/3 3 4 7     2     4 1 7
11 MILUTINOV, NIKOLA 13:04 5 2/2   1/2 1 1 2 2   3     3 3 5
15 PRINTEZIS, GEORGIOS 27:03 14 2/8 1/2 7/8 4 3 7 1   1     4 6 15
16 PAPANIKOLAOU, KOSTAS 24:38 14 1/5 4/7   4 5 9 1   1   1 3 1 13
17 MANTZARIS, VANGELIS 33:24 12 0/3 4/9   1 5 6 3   1     2 1 11
Team           1 2 3     1         2
Totals 200:00 82 11/35 14/33 18/23 19 24 43 15 2 13 3 3 26 24 79
        31.4% 42.4% 78.3%
Head coach: SFAIROPOULOS, IOANNIS

Head Coaches

ITOUDIS, DIMITRIS
CSKA Moscow
"I would like to congratulate Olympiacos for the win and the qualification for the final. The semifinal is like a final. We had our good moments. It hurt us a lot that they were fighting more on the boards. Tjey had 9 in the fourth quarter and 8 offensive rebounds in the first quarter. They did a great job shooting the ball, rebounding the ball, and that hurt us a lot. We had open looks, they had open looks, and they made theirs. We will not have the opportunity to go to the final to defend the title, but that is how the Final Four goes. History says we lost two semifinals against Olympiacos since I had the head coaching job here. They have a great team, but I don’t need to answer that specifically about Olympiacos. There are four great teams here. History doesn’t play basketball, the present moment plays. "
SFAIROPOULOS, IOANNIS
Olympiacos Piraeus
"It’s very important whenever you win a semifinal. Congratulations to our players. It was very important that we didn’t panic when CSKA got the lead in the first half. It was very crucial when we hit 2 three-pointers at the end of the first half. We were lucky to go into the locker room with a 7-point difference. I told my players to build on our game and in the second half we saw the great effort on defense. In the second half we played good and we came very close to CSKA, maybe 3 points, and then they went ahead double digits. But we didn’t give up. After we got the lead, we had the clear mind to play in the final minutes smart and efficiently. I also want to thank our fans who came here. I think we gave our fans something to celebrate. When you keep CSKA Moscow to 14 points in the last quarter, that is a great effort by the whole team. I told the players they can enjoy this victory while we are in the arena. But once we leave, then we will have to concentrate on the final."

Players

HINES, KYLE
CSKA Moscow
"It hurts when you work so hard at something then realize it is not going to be achieved. We had control majority of the game, but they just made more plays than us towards the end of the game. They were able to get second chances and make big shots. That's really what it was. It was combination of second chances and three-pointers. Second chances gave them confidence. We played good initial defensive, got stops, but those offensive rebounds allowed them to get some shots, allowed them to get confidence, allowed them to stay in the game."
JACKSON, AARON
CSKA Moscow
"I think mentally people are haunted by Olympiacos. When they come back against us, it is always a type of hesitation, we rush things instead of playing how they play. They play aggressive, we should play aggressive back. It is kind of like they are ghost; they come and haunt us. I guess we don’t handle certain players very well. You got to give Olympiacos, you got to give Mantzaris and Papanikolaou a lot of credit. They deserved it. These two played amazing and I give them all the credit."
TEODOSIC, MILOS
CSKA Moscow
"I think we played good most of the game, in some moments even great, but honestly, I don’t know what to say about a new loss against Olympiacos. We fought all 40 minutes, we did not lose against a third division team, we lost against Olympiacos, a serious team. Okay, this is the third or fourth Final Four that they beat us, but you know, they are a good team. They managed to come back, they don’t give up. This is a team that never gives up. We have to congratulate them. Of course we are sad, but I am really proud of my team for the entire season, and even for this game. Maybe we were not lucky, but maybe it was not even luck anymore, maybe it comes from up above, not sure what it is. "
PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS
Olympiacos Piraeus
"Unbelievable. Billy can play at the end. Everybody gave everything, I can't even talk now. We gave it all our heart. We showed the character and we have one more game. We have to concentrate for that."
PAPANIKOLAOU, KOSTAS
Olympiacos Piraeus
"It's always beautiful, nice, great. This team has a lot of character, I don't want to say the ther word. We showed another night. We had a bad first half, but everybody had faith and we stuck to the plan: not letting them hit easy baskets, and stay aggressive. Spanoulis knows what to do, he's the man. We're blessed to have him."
SPANOULIS, VASSILIS
Olympiacos Piraeus
"We didnt quit. We didn't play so good but in the end we managed to play good offense and take the game. You have to build this, the experence helped us. This confidence to be with a clear mind in the final minutes is something you build with the years. I don't know how I do it, I try to help my team, I try to do my best and thanks to God we managed to win."
YOUNG, PATRIC
Olympiacos Piraeus
"This is crazy because you play with your teammates for 10 months and now, we finally play for something that counts. Something that sums up how good or bad your year was. So, to finally be here is surreal. This team is a family, and like all families, we have our ups and downs, but we will never replace anyone in this team. We do not care who scores, we encourage each other. We're our own cheerleaders and we bring that every game. You can see that especially in big games. We started the momentum in the playoffs against Efes and we brought it over here. At halftime we were okay, but we just told ourselves that we had to do better."
BIRCH, KHEM
Olympiacos Piraeus
"It will feel amazing on Sunday. No pressure for us, we're the underdogs. It's been crazy to see what Bill [Spanoulis] can do on the court. I saw him the past couple years and now playing by his side is great. He's amazing, you know we will just come back."
GREEN, ERICK
Olympiacos Piraeus
"This feels amazing, man! This is a team that was there. We are all excited for Sunday and now we have to celebrate this. It felt great to finally hit those big shots after missing some easy ones I normally make. We all know Spanoulis will do that. We know that even if he has one, two, three bad quarters, he will show up at the end. We were okay at halftime, we did a good job. We stayed on our average and coach told us to play tough and that's what we did."