Spanoulis sparks Olympiacos to big win over Barcelona
Olympiacos Piraeus started the Top 16 in style by beating FC Barcelona Lassa 74-62 at Peace & Friendship Stadium in their Top 16 opener. Vassilis Spanoulis starred with 11 points and 9 assists to lead the Reds, who finished the first half on a 16-2 tear to lead 39-26 and added a 10-0 third-quarter run to take care of business. The hosts also outrebounded Barcelona 41-30. Othello Hunter added 10 points for the hosts, who featured nine players with at least 6 points. Ante Tomic led Barcelona with 17 points, Tomas Satoransky added 12 and Pau Ribas totaled 8 points and 8 assists in defeat.
First quarter: Papapetrou shines early for Reds
Tomic got the visitors on the scoreboard before Ioannis Papapetrou buried a three for the Reds. Juston Doellman made a tough basket for Barcelona. Tomic took a seat after just three minutes with 2 fouls. A run of turnovers on both ends slowed the game. Satoransky split free throws before Stratos Perperoglou nailed a triple for a 3-8 Barcelona advantage midway through the quarter. Papapetrou’s offensive rebound and free throws got the hosts going. Juan Carlos Navarro drew a foul and added a free throw, but Barcelona had no answer for Papapetrou, who sank 3 free throws over two possession – both thanks to Spanoulis assists – to bring the Reds within 8-9. Georgios Printezis became the hosts’ first scorer not named Papapetrou when he scored over Doellman. A Pau Ribas triple and Samardo Samuels layup put Barcelona up 10-14. Daniel Hackett scored on the baseline and Ioannis Athenaiou added free throws to tie the game at 14-14 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Spanoulis helps hosts surge ahead
Samuels split free throws to push Barcelona back ahead. Shawn James scored with a tip-in and on the break with Dimitrios Agravanis rejecting Samuels in between. James’s baby hook made it 20-15. Tomic’s basket inside and Brad Oleson’s jumper closed the gap to 1. Tomic showed his moves inside to put Barcelona back on top, but Spanoulis was about the take charge. The Olympiacos guard hit a deep three, though Aleksandar Vezenkov answered with a three off an inbounds play for Barcelona. Spanoulis brought the fans to their feet with a tough layup for a 25-24 lead midway through the quarter. Printezis added to the lead and D.J. Strawberry nailed a triple for a 6-point edge. Hunter scored inside before Shane Lawal found a cutting Satoransky for a slam. Spanoulis banked in a tough shot to keep the Reds rolling. His assist on a pick-and-roll to Hunter gave the hosts a double-digit lead. Hackett beat the buzzer with a three for a 39-26 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Olympiacos builds on promising lead
Tomic split free throws, but committed his third foul at the other end on Printezis’s three-point play. Satoransky darted to the hoop for a tough layup and Doellman added a jumper. Tomic displayed his skills in the post to complete a basket-plus-foul to bring the visitors within 42-34. Vangelis Mantzaris kept Olympiacos rolling with a three-pointer and Spanoulis hit a nifty layup. Agravanis came off the bench to sink a triple and a Hunter’s hook shot capped a 10-0 run that made it 52-34 and prompted a Barcelona timeout. Ribas tried to right the Barcelona ship with free throws and Oleson sank a three. Hunter took a pass from Strawberry to make a reverse layup and after Samuels split free throws, a Strawberry jumper made it 56-40 at the end of the quarter.
Fourth quarter: Strawberry and co. cruise to victory
Neither team scored during the first two minutes of the quarter, which played into the home side’s hands. Tomic scored first inside; it was the third quarter in which he scored the first points on the night. Nikola Milutinov responded inside for his first basket. Strawberry took charge with a drawn foul and free throw made on the break and then a jumper to extend the difference to 61-42. After a timeout, Ribas buried a three, Alex Abrines came up with a steal and Tomic scored inside to give Barcelona hope. But the Reds used a timeout and Hackett nailed a triple to practically ice the game with four minutes to go. Samuels added free throws and Spanoulis made a layup. Abrines got on the scoreboard with a three-pointer, but Spanoulis found Hunter for a layup. Tomic and Satoransky lowered the deficit to 12 with two minutes to go. Satoransky further brought Barcelona to 68-58, but threes by Agravanis and Mantzaris secured a comfortable victory.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015