On this day seven years ago, Olympiacos Piraeus topped Real Madrid 100-88 at The O2 in London to become just the fourth team to successfully defend its title in the Final Four era. It was also the third continental championship in Olympiacos's illustrious history. For their first crown, Olympiacos beat FC Barcelona in the 1997 championship game in Rome. It then bested CSKA Moscow in 2012 in Istanbul. Real made its first championship game appearance since 1995.
For the second year in a row, Olympiacos Piraeus roared back from a double-digit deficit to become the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion. Real used 5 three-pointers to open up a 17-point lead at the end of the opening quarter, but Olympiacos got tremendous contributions from its second unit, led by Kyle Hines and Pero Antic, to melt the deficit to just 37-41 at halftime. Three consecutive triples from Vassilis Spanoulis helped put Olympiacos up 52-46 early in the third. The two teams traded leads and were tied it at 61-61 going into the final 10 minutes before Acie Law and Vassilis Spanoulis fuelled a 9-1 run to open the fourth quarter and Olympiacos never looked back, leading by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter. The Reds won their 2012 in a similar, but far more dramatic fashion, when they came back from 19 points down late in the third quarter to stun CSKA 62-61.
Spanoulis leads the Reds' offense
Spanoulis earned Final Four MVP honors for leading Olympiacos in the championship game with 21 points and 6 assists. He scored all of his 21 points in the second half and was one of six Olympiacos scorers in double figures. Acie Law had 20 points and 5 assists and 5 rebounds, Kyle Hines scored 12 points, Kostas Sloukas had 11 while Stratos Perperoglou and Pero Antic scored 10 apiece. Rudy Fernandez led Real with 21 points, Sergio Rodriguez scored 17 and Sergio Llull had 14 in a losing effort.
Triple digits scoring
Olympiacos became only the second – and the latest - team in the Final Four era to score 100 points in a non-overtime championship game, after Maccabi set the all-time Final Four and championship game record with 118 back in 2004. There have been four occasions in competition history in which a team scored in triple digits in a title game. CSKA was the only other club to do it. The first time was in 1969 when it edged Real Madrid 103-99 in double overtime and the second was in 2016 when it beat Fenerbahce 101-96 after extra time.
History for Spanoulis and Bartzokas
After being chosen as the EuroLeague season MVP, Vassilis Spanoulis took EuroLeague Final Four MVP honors for the second straight season and became the second man – joining Toni Kukoc – to be voted Final Four MVP for the third time. Georgios Bartzokas became the first Greek coach to lead a club to the top of the podium. He was later joined by Dimitris Itoudis, who won it as a head coach in 2016 and 2019 with CSKA.
Real takes rematches
After competing in the 2013 championship game, Olympiacos and Real kept clashing at big stages for a couple more years, including a championship game rematch at the 2015 Final Four when Real bested Olympiacos 78-59 to win the title on its home floor in Madrid. In between those two championship games, there was a big showdown between them in the 2014 EuroLeague Playoffs. Real had the home-court advantage in the best-of-five series and preserved it with a 3-2 win in which the home teams won all five games.