Slick Olympiacos cruises past ALBA
Olympiacos Piraeus breezed past ALBA Berlin at Mercedes-Benz Arena on Thursday night, triumphing 80-99 to gain its second road win of the season. A slick offensive exhibition saw Olympiacos surge to a 17-30 lead by the end of the first quarter and ALBA never threatened a comeback from that moment as the margin continued to grow before stabilizing around the 20-point mark for the remainder of the game. Augustine Rubit led the way with 16 points and 8 rebounds, while Georgios Printezis added 15 points. Brandon Paul made 4 of 7 three-pointers for his 12 points, while Kostas Papanikoalou added 12 points and Vassilis Spanoulis scored 11. Marcus Eriksson made 4 of 7 triples in his tally of 16 points for ALBA and Makai Mason scored a career-high 15 points on 3-of-3 three-point shooting. Landry Nnoko provided 11 points for the host. Olympiacos improves to 4-6, while ALBA is now 3-7.
Rubit came out firing for Olympiacos, scoring a trio of inside baskets in the opening 4 minutes while Spanoulis and Papanikoalou both connected from long-range for an 8-16 lead midway through the first. An alley-oop between Taylor Rochestie and Willie Reed made it a double-digit game before Printezis and Papanikolaou were both on the mark as the visiting team’s offense continued to roll. A pair of three-pointers from Tim Schneider narrowed the gap, but Printezis struck from deep to make it 17-30 after 10 minutes. Nikola Milutinov opened the second quarter with a dunk before Printezis scored again, but Luke Sikma scored twice from close-range to briefly give ALBA hope. Paul and Spanoulis made three-pointers for a 23-42 lead, soon extended by Spanoulis feeding Milutinov and Papanikolaou for dunks. A flurry of free throws pulled ALBA closer, making it 38-54 at halftime. A three-pointer from Antonios Koniaris opened the second half scoring and Rubit stayed hot by scoring from inside and outside as Olympiacos continued to look comfortable. Quick-fire three-pointers from Jonas Mattisseck, Niels Giffey and Makai gave ALBA a spark, before Mason and Giffey again struck from downtown to make 57-71. But Printezis responded with another triple to protect his team’s lead and Paul’s three-pointer at the start of the fourth stretched the lead to 57-79. Deep strikes from Mason and Eriksson provided the hosts with another glimmer of hope, but Paul and Rochestie extinguished that as the three-pointers continued to drop and Olympiacos cruised through the latter stages.
Olympiacos quickly finds its range
Superb shooting accuracy allowed Olympiacos to establish a big early lead. The visiting team made 7 of its first 8 two-pointers and 3 of 4 triples to move ahead 11-25 with just 8 minutes played, providing the foundations for a comfortable victory and the Reds' highest scoring total of the season.
Perfect Printezis and Rubit
ALBA’s chief tormentors during the decisive first half were Georgios Printezis and Augustine Rubit, who combined for 9 converted field goals without a single miss on the way to a 19-point lead, 32-51, with less than 2 minutes remaining in the second quarter when Rubit finally was off target.
Inside defense throttles ALBA
On the defensive end, a key to the outcome was Olympiacos’s success in denying ALBA much joy close to the basket. The home team converted only 11 of its 27 two-point attempts, while the Reds were good for 21 of 36 inside shots.
Round 11 will see ALBA stay at home for a visit from Zalgiris Kaunas on Thursday. A day later, Olympiacos has a big game in Piraeus against AX Armani Exchange Milan.
Thursday, November 21, 2019