Olympiacos rallies from 15 down to beat ALBA
Olympiacos Piraeus used a big third quarter to lay the foundation for a 75-71 comeback victory at home over ALBA Berlin for a second straight win. Shaquielle McKissic led Olympiacos with 14 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals while Livio Jean-Charles picked up 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks and Sasha Vezenkov added 11 points. Olympiacos trailed by 15 points in the second quarter, but roared back ahead with a 27-9 third quarter and finished strong to improve to 4-4. ALBA was paced by Niels Giffey off the bench with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists while Maodo Lo and Johannes Thiemann both had 10 points. ALBA has lost two straight in falling to 1-5 on the season.
Ben Lammers started the scoring for the visitors and Marcus Eriksson drained a three-pointer for a 0-7 lead while Olympiacos committed 5 turnovers in the first eight possessions. Kostas Papanikolaou’s three-pointer gave the Reds their first points after nearly 5 minutes. Giffey hit from deep and Lo added 3 points to give ALBA a double-digit lead, 5-15. Another Giffey triple made it 7-20 and Thiemann’s tip-in at the buzzer had ALBA up 10-22 after 10 minutes. Octavius Ellis opened the second quarter for the hosts, but they couldn’t cut into the gap despite ALBA needing almost 3 minutes to score - with Simone Fontecchio doing the honors as the gap jumped to 12-26. Vasilis Charalampopoulos scored twice at the other end, but Fontecchio’s next score had the margin at 20-35. Olympiacos managed to trim the deficit to 24-35 at the break.
Kostas Sloukas got the scoring going in the second half and ALBA needed more than 2 minutes to get on the scoreboard through Fontecchio. McKissic took over with a big dunk, 2 assists and a three-pointer in a 9-0 surge to pull within 38-39. Lo knocked down a triple to put ALBA up 40-44, but the road team failed to score in the final 2:30 of the quarter, while Papanikolaou hit a three-pointer and Vasilis Spanoulis went back-to-back from deep in an 11-0 run to put Olympiacos up 51-44 after 30 minutes. ALBA raced back into the game with a 2-8 start to the final frame to get within 53-52. It was Olympiacos’ turn to answer and Jean-Charles and Sloukas converted back-to-back three-point plays to start a 10-0 run for a 63-52 advantage. Vezenkov added a triple and it was 66-54 with 5 minutes to play. Thiemann scored twice for ALBA to cut the margin to 67-60 only to see Vezenkov drain a three-pointer from the left corner with 96 seconds to play. Jonas Mattisseck answered with a triple of his own, but Vezenkov drew a charge on Luke Sikma on the next possession and Ellis finished any doubts with a layup to make it 73-65.
Depth does it for Olympiacos
Olympiacos's starting five totaled just 32 points while the reserves poured in 43 points - led by Shaquielle McKissic and Sasha Vezenkov, who combined for 25 points.
Olympiacos ended up with 17 turnovers and while that is not a good number, the team committed 8 turnovers in the first quarter alone. So it settled down after the first 10 minutes.
Olympiacos took advantage of its offensive rebounding to score 12 second-chance points, compared to 6 for ALBA. Olympiacos also made 15 of 19 free throws compared to 8-of-13 free-throw shooting for ALBA.
Olympiacos heads on the road for Round 9 with a game at FC Barcelona on Wednesday, November 18. ALBA will return home for Round 9 to host LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne the same evening.
Thursday, November 12, 2020