Champs overpower Laboral for big road win
Olympiacos Piraeus pounded Caja Laboral 72-89 at Fernando Buesa Arena in Vitoria, Spain, on Friday night for the champs’ second straight road win. The Reds improved to 4-2 and joined Anadolu Efes Istanbul in a tie for second place in Group C. Kyle Hines led the way with 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting and Vassilis Spanoulis added 14 points and 8 assists. Olympiacos simply dominated the proceedings, outrebounding Laboral 27-43 and dishing nearly twice as many assists (11-21) as the home team. The loss was Laboral’s worst at home since a 2009 playoff loss to FC Barcelona. Olympiacos led by 10 in the second quarter and after the host climbed within 5 in the third, the Reds pulled away for good. Hines made it a 20-point lead early in the fourth as the visitors cruised to victory. Kostas Papanikolaou tallied 13 points and 9 rebounds, Josh Powell netted 12 and Georgios Printezis scored 11 for the winners. Brad Oleson paced Laboral with 13 points, Andres Nocioni and Fernando San Emeterio added 12 apiece and Thomas Huertel had a strong outing with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. The loss – laboral’s third in a row - bumped Coach Dusko Iavnovic’s side to 1-5 and last place in Group C.
First quarter: Reds wrest away control
The hosts were aggressive at the start. Nocioni scored in the paint; Huertel stole the inbounds pass and was fouled; and after he split free throws, Laboral grabbed the rebound and Huertel found Maciej Lampe to make it 5-0 in just over one minute of play. It took two-and-a-half minutes until Papanikolaou scored inside for the champs’ first points. After that initial surge, the Reds kept Laboral quiet and Papanikolaou’s second basket made it 5-6. After a timeout, Nocioni scored, but Spanoulis better him to make it 7-9 midway through the quarter. The tide turned again as Nocioni got three the hard way and Tibor Pleiss dropped in a hook to lift the hosts. Huertas fed Pleiss for a slam and a 14-11 edge. Printezis scored twice and in between fed Powell for the latter’s first Euroleague points as Olympiacos regained the lead, 16-17. Then Spanoulis silenced the arena with a pull-up triple, however Oleson matched him. Powell finished the quarter with an impressive block on Lampe to keep the visitors up 19-22 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Hines shines as champs’ lead reaches 10
Powell kept going hard and added a pair of baskets and a high-flying rebound early in the second quarter. Lampe beat the 24-second clock for the hosts, but Hines came in for Powell and picked up where he left off with a pair of scores to make it 21-30. San Emeterio and Lampe narrowed the gap, but Pero Antic soon nailed a three to give the Reds their first double-digit lead, 25-35. A Milko Bjelica triple did little to change the momentum. However Huertel made the difference to the hosts: he drove to the basket for score and foul and after he missed the free throw, turned it into a three-pointer. His next free throw made it 34-37. Hines boosted the visitors lead back to 7, but he limped off the court with two minutes left in the half. Kostas Sloukas’s first points were a three-pointer to restore a 10-point lead for the champs. Huertel clawed back 4 points and despite a Spanoulis triple, Nocioni made it 40-47 at the break.
Third quarter: Olympiacos rolls on
San Emeterio looked to take charge for the hosts, but after scoring once, he missed a tough shot. However Oleson turned a corner with the ball and attacked the rim for a two-handed slam to keep the deficit at 5. Printezis hit back from downtown and a Powell slam lifted the visitors to 44-54. Papanikolaou scored on the break and despite a Laboral timeout, Spanoulis scored next to make it a 14-point game. Oleson tried to recharge Laboral and after a Nocioni triple and Carlos Cabezas free throws, it was 51-60. Papanikolaou shook off the hosts’ momentum with a three of his own. The Reds continued to roll and eventually after free throws by Acie Law and Antic, the lead settled at 51-69 through three quarters.
Fourth quarter: The visitors take lead into the 20s before celebrating
Hines made it a 20-point game with the first score of the fourth quarter. Threes by Oleson and Lampe gave the local support some hope, but Olympiacos dashed that as Antic and Hines restored a 57-77 cushion. Oleson tacked on another three, but the outcome was becoming clear. The intensity was gone in the final minutes with the result no longer in doubt. Olympiacos’s lead peaked at 22 on an Evangelos Mantzaris free throw as the Reds celebrated a convincing road win.
Friday, November 16, 2012