The resurrection of Olympiacos continued with a fourth consecutive victory on Thursday in Group C, and this was perhaps the biggest of all, a 78-90 road win over might Pamesa in Valencia, Spain. Having started the season 0-5, the Reds are now 4-5 and just a game behind three teams tied for third place at 5-4 - Pamesa, Tau and Idea Slask. A former Pamesa player, Panagiotis Liadelis, was the man of the game, scoring 33 points in an almost perfect night in which he made 6 of 6 two-pointers, 3 of 3 three-pointers and 12 of 13 free throws for the winners. Giorgios Diamantopoulos added 21 points while Milan Tomic had 15 for the Reds. Fabricio Oberto led Pamesa with 26 points, making 12 of 15 two-pointers. Dejan Tomasevic had a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds while Antoine Rigaudeau scored 12 for the hosts.
Despite an opening basket by Liadelis, Pamesa dominated early behind Oberto, himself a former Olympiacos player. he powered an 11-2 run with 9 points, giving Pamesa an 11-4 lead. Liadelis, the only visitor scoring, made a three-pointer from the top of the arc and 2 foul shots that brought the Reds within 13-11. Diamantopoulos soon helped his teammate with a three-pointer from the left corner, but foul trouble found the Reds as Goran Jurak went to the bench with three. A carousel of free throws followed, in which Evangelos Sklavos and Liadelis managed to tie the game at 17-17, but a long jumper by Rigaudeau and a layup by Oberto gave Pamesa a 21-17 lead after 10 minutes.
Both teams struggled to score early in the second until Milan Tomic drilled a three to tie the game at 21-21. It was being a very physical game, with many fouls called on both teams, who had to hustle for every ball. Once the Reds got the lead at 23-24 after 3 free throws made by Diamantopoulos, Pamesa finally stopped struggling against Olympiacos' zone defense. Asier Garcia came off the bench and hit a three right away, which Jose Antonio Paraiso followed with another basket, as both teams started to exchange baskets. A layup by Paraido ignited a 11-0 run in the final minutes of the half, in which Rigaudeau nailed one from downtown and added a three-point play, while a basket by Oberto gave Pamesa a 38-29 lead. Liadelis, with a buzzer-beating layup, brought the Reds within seven, 38-31, at halftime.
Olympiacos did not wake up until Oberto scored back-to-back baskets in the paint to extend the local lead to 42-31. The guests went on 0-6 run right after that, highlighted by a long two-pointer by Jurak. Oberto was highly motivated and helped the hosts to keep a safe lead until Sklavos made a three-pointer which made it a three-point game, 46-45, midway through the third quarter. That shot ignited a 3-10 run in which Liadelis scored 5 points while Diamantopoulos made a huge fallaway jumper which gave the guests a 49-50 lead. Pamesa was forced to call timeout, and four lead changes followed. Even when Diamantopoulos drilled another three and Jurak added a basket in the paint, the Reds only managed to enter the fourth up by one, 56-57, after an uncontested layup by Tomasevic. The Reds had switched to zone defense late in the third and Pamesa could only find Tomasevic in the paint to beat it. He exchanged 2 baskets with Diamantopoulos in the opening minutes of the fourth. Liadelis took over soon after that, scoring 5 points in consecutive offensive actions with extended the guests' lead to 62-66. Olympiacos was patient, finding good scoring options in every offense. Meanwhile Pamesa mostly looked for Oberto and Tomasevic, who were double-teamed by the Reds' centers. A five-meter jumper by Tomic and a huge three-pointer by Liadelis from the top of the key gave the guests' a 67-73 lead, which meant a red alert for Pamesa. Rigaudeau returned to the floor only to pick up his fifth foul and return to the bench, and Liadelis added 2 more of the line. Pamesa tried to cut the deficit from beyond the arc, but it was Diamantopoulos who sealed the win with a bomb from downtown which push the Reds' lead to 69-80 with less than 2 minutes to go. The outcome was clear, as Olympiacos won its fourth game in a row, as they carry on climbing in the Group C standings.
Thursday, January 15, 2004