Caja Laboral edge Olympiacos 81-79
In arguably one of the best Turkish Airlines Euroleague games so far this season, Caja Laboral stayed undefeated in Group A by edging Olympiacos 81-79 in Vitoria, Spain on Wednesday night. Pablo Prigioni won the game for Laboral with the go-ahead jumper with just 1.7 seconds to go. Laboral went up to 3-0 in Group A while Olympiacos dropped to 1-2. Mirza Teletovic paced the winners with 20 points. Kevin Seraphin and Fernando San Emeterio each added 15 for Laboral, but Prigioni stole the show and set the crowd on fire with his game-winning shot. Vassilis Spanoulis led Olympiacos with 19 points. Pero Antic and Kyle Hines each added 14 while Marko Keselj had 10 for the Reds. Antic and Keselj struck twice from downtown in the first quarter to give Olympiacos a 13-22 lead after 10 minutes. Intense defense and an inspired Spanoulis helped the Reds to stay way ahead, 32-40, at halftime. A three-pointer by Martynas Gecevicius allowed Olympiacos to keep a 60-66 edge after 30 minutes. Seraphin led a 10-2 run that put Laboral back ahead, 70-68, with 6 minutes left. The game went down to the wire and Spanoulis buried a big three-pointer to tie the game, 79-79, with 8 seconds to go. Prigioni had time to get to the other end and bury the game-winning shot, as Olympiacos did not score in its final possession.
Spanoulis needed just 14 seconds to get Olympiacos going with a driving layup. Reggie Williams copied him in the other end, as the Reds tried to slow down the game tempo in the opening minutes. Antic struck from downtown to give Olympiacos a 2-5 lead. Seraphin scored in penetration and a put-back layup by Williams put Laboral back ahead, 6-5. Antic buried another three-pointer and Keselj also hit one from beyond the arc for a 6-11 Olympiacos lead. Nemanja Bjelica scored in transition and a free throw by Teletovic got Laboral within 9-11. Keselj shined with a big basket off the baseline that Seraphin matched with a jump hook off the glass. Lazaros Papadopoulos sank his trademark hook shot, added a huge basket in the low post and fed Antic for an uncontested dunk that made the hosts call timeout at 11-19. San Emeterio tried to change things with free throws that Keselj improved with another corner triple to boost the Reds' lead to 13-22 after 10 minutes.
Papadopoulos kept pacing Olympiacos with a hook shot early in the second quarter. Thomas Heurtel quickly scored in transition, as Laboral tried to play with more intensity in defense. San Emeterio sank a fallaway jumper in penetration but a driving layup by Hines kept the Reds way ahead, 17-26. The Reds kept powering the boards but Laboral was all over the place in defense. Meanwhile, Teletovic took over with a three-point play for a 20-26 score. Antic and Gecevicius sank free throws, as the hosts entered the foul bonus. Milko Bjelica scored down low and Pau Ribas dunked it off a steal to keep Laboral within 24-30. Heurtel beat Gecevicius' jumper with a three-pointer but a power basket by Hines restored a 27-34 Olympiacos margin. Milko Bjelica and Teletovic hit free throws but a layup by Spanoulis gave Olympiacos some fresh air, 30-36. Pau Ribas nailed a stop-and-pop jumper but an outstanding Spanoulis split foul shots and scored off a steal to give Olympiacos a 32-40 edge at halftime.
Antic shined with a put-back basket immediately after the break but San Emeterio improved that with a layup-plus-foul for a 35-42 score. Spanoulis hit his trademark driving layup but Teletovic answered with a fallaway jumper. Hines silenced the crowd with a three-point play and a fast break layup by Kalin Lucas forced Laboral to call timeout at 37-49. Seraphin tried to ignite the hosts' comeback with a mid-range jumper and free throws by San Emeterio gave Laboral some hope, 41-49. Spanoulis fed Keselj for an easy dunk but Ribas answered from downtown, as both teams entered the foul bonus midway through the third quarter. Teletovic followed a key triple with free throws to bring Laboral back to life, 50-54. Antic hit free throws but a close basket by Teletovic and a coast-to-coast layup by Ribas sent the crowd to their feet at 54-56. Lucas buried a triple off an Olympiacos timeout and Georgios Printezis added back-to-back layups but Milko Bjelica and Teletovic kept Laboral within 60-63. Gecevicius sank a wild running triple for a 60-66 Olympiacos lead after 30 minutes.
Brad Oleson buried a six-meter jumper early inthe fourth quarter and a put-back layup by Seraphin made it a two-point game, 64-66. Olympiacos kept struggling to score and a power basket by Seraphin tied the game at 66-66. Spanoulis fed Hines for a layup but an unstoppable Seraphin matched with a jumper and a fast break layup by San Emeterio completed the hosts' comeback, 70-68, with under 6 minutes left. Spanoulis scored in penetration but San Emeterio followed an off-balance jumper with a backdoor layup to give Laboral a 74-70 edge. Hines stepped up with free throws but a three-point play by Seraphin gave Laboral a 77-72 edge with 3 minutes to go. Spanoulis hit foul shots but Teletovic answered in the same way for a 79-74 score. Laboral kept using long possessions to run the game clock down but a put-back layup brought Olympiacos within 79-76 with a minute left. San Emeterio picked up a turnover and Spanoulis finished a long offense with a wild triple that tied the game with 8 seconds left. Prigioni brought the ball to the other end and downed a five-meter shot with 1.7 seconds left. Olympiacos had a final chance to win the game but Gecevicius could get a shot up in time.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011