Baskonia defeats Olympiacos in home opener
KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz opened its home campaign on a positive note by downing Olympiacos Piraeus 82-66 on Friday. Baskonia, which had played on the road in the opening three rounds, improved to 2-2 in the standings while Olympiacos dropped to 1-3. Toko Shengelia led the winners with 25 points and 9 rebounds. Pierria Henry added 12 points, Nik Stauskas had 11, Luca Vildoza got 10 and Youssoupha Fall pulled down 16 rebounds for Baskonia. Brandon Paul led Olympiacos with 15 points. Vassilis Spanoulis, Will Cherry and Augustine Rubit each had 10 for the guests. Stauskas and Shengelia shined early to give Baskonia a 23-21 lead after 10 minutes. Patricio Garino and an outstanding Fall allowed Baskonia to get a 36-25 margin, which Olympiacos cut to 41-36 at halftime. Shengelia took over after the break, getting gelp from Vildoza and Stauskas to boost the hosts' lead to 58-49 at the end of the third quarter. Rubit and Paul brought Olympiacos within 69-61 midway through the fourth but Baskonia pulled away near the end.
Stauskas got Baskonia going with a three-pointer, then Shengelia followed a layup with a jumper for a 7-2 lead. Cherry and Nikola Milutinov each scored around the basket in a 0-6 run which Georgios Printezis capped with a jump hook that gave Olympiacos its first lead, 7-8. Shavon Shields and Spanoulis traded layups and Stauskas struck from downtown for a 12-10 Baskonia edge. Paul answered from beyond the arc but Shengelia and Fall boosted the hosts' lead to 18-14. Vildoza hit a triple but Cherry, Paul and Augustine Rubit kept Olympiacos within 23-21 after 10 minutes. Garino scored down low early in the second quarter and a tip-in by Fall boosted the hosts' lead to 27-21. Milutinov and Fall traded put-back baskets and a triple by Garino made the guests call timeout. Mindaugas Kuzminskas scored in the paint but Fall and Henry helped Baskonia get a double-digit lead, 36-25. Three-pointers by Cherry, Spanoulis and Paul pulled Olympiacos back, but Shengelia answered from downtown at the halftime buzzer for a 41-36 lead. Spanoulis hit a triple soon after halftime and Printezis added a layup but back-to-back floaters by Vildoza and a four-point play by Stauskas kept Baskonia ahead. Milutinov dunked but Shengelia followed a three-point play with a reverse layup for a 54-43 score. Kevin Punter found his first points, and got help from Rubit and Spanoulis to give Olympiacos hope, 58-49, after 30 minutes. Shengelia fed Matt Janning for a backdoor layup and scored down low for a 62-49 Baskonia margin early in the fourth quarter. Vildoza struck from beyond the arc but Rubit scored twice and Paul added a wild corner triple that got the Reds within 67-56. Paul insisted from downtown to make it a single-digit game, 69-61. But Shengelia followed a three-pointer with a jump hook and by the time Henry struck from beyond the arc, Baskonia had sealed the outcome.
Youssoupha Fall played the best game of his short EuroLeague career, becoming a dominant force under the baskets. He finished the game with 8 points on 4-of-5 shooting, adding 16 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 fouls drawn for a PIR of 23. Nikola Milutinov had three double-doubles in as many games until now, but Fall outplayed him on this occasion.
Olympiacos managed to get within 69-61 midway through the fourth quarter and it seemed that one of the Reds' trademark comebacks was in progress, but Tornike Shengelia scored a triple and added a jump hook, then Pierria Henry struck from downtown to seal the outcome, 77-64, with 3 minutes left.
Baskonia outrebounded Olympiacos by 51-31, pulling down 19 offensive rebounds. Those 51 rebounds are the third-best mark by Baskonia in the EuroLeague - it pulled down 54 against Besiktas Istanbul on January 10, 2013 and 53 against Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul on December 9, 2016. Baskonia also had 8 blocks and limited its turnovers to just 8.
Did you notice?
Fall's 16 rebounds tie the third-best mark in Baskonia's EuroLeague history. Only Victor Alexander, (19, vs. Kinder Bologna in Game 1 of the 2001 Finals) and Mirza Teletovic (17, vs. Olympiacos on October 25, 2007) are ahead of him. Fall also tied the EuroLeague's best rebounding mark this season - Milutinov had 16 boards against Zenit St Petersburg in Round 3.
Baskonia visits LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne on Tuesday, October 29 at 20:45 CET. A day later, Olympiacos visits CSKA Moscow in a rematch of the 2012 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Championship Game.
Friday, October 25, 2019