After its only false step of the season last week, Olympiakos of Greece reestablished its winning ways on Wednesday with a blowout 107-78 victory over its visitor to Athens, winless Charleroi of Belgium. It looked like business as usual for the Reds as Alphonso Ford poured in 26 points, Stephane Risacher 22 and James Forrest 21. Olympiakos lifted its record to 4-1 while Charleroi is still looking for its first victory after five games.
Easy going Olympiakos didn' t face any problem by the beginning of the game, to prove which is the boss of the game. Led by Stefan Risacher, who scored 10 points in the first quarter- a spectacular three pointer at the buzzer, included- the Reds seemed to have a practice and took an early 11 points lead (19-8). Italian coach of Charleroi Giovanne Bozzi has already changed all his starters in seven minutes of the game, without any result. Even though Alexey Savrasenko has a horrible 1 for 7 percentage from the foul line, only in 8 minutes, Olympiakos, in front of 2000 spectators, walloped the belgian team and concluded the first half leading by 29-14.
Despite the absence of Theodoros Papaloukas and Patrick Femerling- by the way, both of them are expected to play Saturday, against Panionios- Olympiakos continued its up tempo game. High shoting percentages, superiority under the boards, an easy rotation and a lot of offensive options gave Olympiakos all the potential to create a 19 points gap (33-14), as the only player of Charleroi, who stayed in good level was John Jerom. In the middle of the second quarter , Elias Zouros called Alphonso Ford to seat on the bench, for some rest, without any problem caused. Charleroi cut the margin to 14 points (42-28), but Olympiakos took a 18 points lead (46-28) three minutes before the end, as Louis Rowe, David Desy and John Jerom have committed their third personal foul. One minute before the end, Olympiakos has already scored 50 points (50-33), going into intermission with a 14 points (50-36) lead.
The third quarter started with the fifth foul of David Desy, who was replaced by experienced point guard Jacques Stas. Louis Rowe cut the margin to 11 points (54-43), but Olympiakos didn' t allow to Charleroi any further hope. Despite the technical foul Elias Zouros has committed, James Forrest and Stefan Risacher managed to answer by the proper way. Alphonso Ford, who came big serving as point guard,extended the margin, with 4 for 4 free throws, to 20 points, 71-51, after 28 minutes of playing. Roger Huggins scored seven consecutive points, good enough to cut the deficit to 13 points (77-64), by the end of the third quarter.
Louis Rowe hit a great three-pointer and cut the gap to 10 points (85-75), as Charleroi, which has already lost Jerom James to fouls, outscored Olympiakos by 24-14. Elias Zouros called a time out, to weak up his players, who came stronger on the court. Alphonso Ford hit 9 out of 11 consecutive points scored by Olympiakos, to open the gap in 19 points (94-75) and to sign for good the fourth win of Olympiakos in Euroleague. The Reds made a 13-0 run in five minutes, extending the margin, 98-75, with three minutes left. The game belonged to Olympiakos, so coach Zouros didn' t hesitate to give playing time and Euroleague flavor to youngsters, like Greek point guard Panayotis Mantzanas and Turkish forward Emre Ekim. Finally, Olympiakos managed to register its fourth win in the Euroleague (107-78) and to score more than 100 points for the second time in five games.
Wednesday, November 7, 2001