Olympiacos stops Valencia at La Fonteta
Olympiacos Piraeus handed Valencia Basket a 79-88 beatdown at La Fonteta on Wednesday. Olympiacos improved to 15-17 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague standings and dropped Valencia to 17-15. Valencia's playoff hopes suffered a critical blow with the loss. Sasha Vezenkov led the winners with 19 points, Georgios Printezis added 18, Octavius Ellis had 11 while Kostas Sloukas dished 11 assists for Olympiacos. Klemen Prepelic paced Valencia with 12 points, Fernando San Emeterio added 11 and Vanja Marinkovic and Joan Sastre each had 10 for the hosts. Olympiacos led 19-23 after 10 minutes, extended its margin to 31-44 at halftime and then again 41-74 at the end of the third quarter, more than enough to seal the outcome with plenty of time to spare. Valencia managed to get within 71-79, but Vezenkov and Vassilis Spanoulis made sure Olympiacos recorded a road win.
Sloukas downed a triple and Ellis added a three-point play to give Olympiacos its first lead, 5-6. Derrick Williams and Nikola Kalinic took over with back-to-back alley-oop slams and Tobey scored down low for a 12-9 Valencia lead. Vezenkov and Printezis each struck from downtown and Kosta Koufos hit a jumper in an 0-10 run that gave the Reds a 12-19 edge. Sam Van Rossom banked in a floater and Sastre buried a three-pointer, but Sloukas and Koufos kept the visitors ahead, 19-23, after 10 minutes. Shaquielle McKissic scored in transition early in the second quarter, but Sastre did better with his second triple. Koufos and Livio Jean-Charles each scored in the paint, fueling an 0-8 run that Vezenkov capped with a put-back layup that prompted Valencia to call timeout at 22-33. Giannoulis Larentzakis struck from beyond the arc, but Van Rossom and Kalinic brought the hosts within 26-36. Jean-Charles had a reverse dunk and a tip-in in an 0-6 run that broke the game open, 27-42. Vezenkov hit a floater, but Louis Labeyrie and Guillem Vives got Valencia within 31-44 at halftime.
Printezis hit two of his trademark jump hooks soon after the break, before adding a triple for a 20-point Olympiacos margin. Sastre hit a jumper and Kalinic added a three-pointer, but Vezenkov and Ellis kept the Reds far ahead, 36-56. Printezis insisted from downtown and fed Vezenkov for a layup-plus-foul that boosted Olympiacos's lead to 36-62. Printezis and Ellis each scored in the low post to make it a 30-point game. Sloukas joined the three-point shootout and got help from Larentzakis to give the Reds a 41-74 margin after 30 minutes. San Emeterio, Labeyrie and Prepelic each hit a triple in a 13-0 run that brought the hosts closer, 54-74. Prepelic and San Emeterio kept pushing Valencia and Van Rossom struck from downtown to give his team hope, 62-76, midway through the fourth quarter. Vezenkov stepped up for Olympiacos, but Vanja Marinkovic found his first points and San Emeterio struck twice from beyond the arc to bring Valencia within single digits, 70-79. Vezenkov buried a three-pointer that sealed the outcome, 71-82, in the next-to-last minute
Georgios Printezis turned back the clock with a stellar performance, leading Olympiacos to a no-doubt-about-it victory. He finished the game with a season-high 18 points, including 3-for-4 shooting on three-pointers.
After Joan Sastre struck from downtown to bring Valencia within 22-25, Kostas Sloukas and Livio Jean-Charles fueled an 0-8 run that Sasha Vezenkov capped with a put-back layup that made it a double-digit game, 22-33. Valencia called timeout but never recovered after that.
Olympiacos was effective inside the arc (61.3%) and from the free throw line (88.5%). Valencia only hit 33.8% of its two-point shots and also struggled from the foul line (61.1%). Olympiacos finished the game with 25 assists and just 9 turnovers.
Did you know?
Despite the loss, Valencia broke a club record for most points in a quarter with 38. Its previous record was 37 points, also scored in a fourth quarter of a 94-90 home victory against Zenit St Petersburg on November 19, 2019.
Both teams return to EuroLeague action later on this week - on Friday, April 2. Valencia visits ALBA Berlin, while Olympiacos plays on the road against Real Madrid in a rematch of the 1995, 2013 and 2017 EuroLeague Championship Games.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021