2009-10Top 16Round 1
January 28, 2010 CET: 20:45
Local time: 20:45 FERNANDO BUESA ARENA

Olympiacos downed Caja Laboral 85-89

In a spectacular game of runs and reactions, the Top 16 got a rollicking start in Group H on Thursday as Olympiacos outlasted Caja Laboral 85-89 on the road in Vitoria, Spain. The victory by the Reds tied them with Khimki for first place in Group H, and was worth even more for how it was seized, by putting down one Caja Laboral comeback after another. Olympiacos seized double-digit leads in three different quarters and Caja Laboral erased all but the last of them. Star turns by half the Olympiacos lineup were all needed to overcome the hosts. Josh Childress shined with 21 often-acrobatic points, including a key late triple, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Ioannis Bourousis followed with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Linas Kleiza scored 18 and had 7 rebounds. Milos Teodosic added 14 points and 6 assists while he and Theo Papaloukas, who had 6 assists, too, teamed up for key plays in the fourth-quarter takeover by the Reds. Caja Laboral had its warriors, too. Marcelinho Huertas sparked the hosts off the bench and finished with a Euroleague career-high 23 points. Fernando San Emeterio drilled 20 points and dished 7 assists. Mirza Teletovic added 18 points and Tiago Splitter 10.

Childress started the scoreboard by downing an open triple. Caja Laboral went inside to Splitter, dunking off a pass from Pau Ribas. Olympiacos got its inside game going with Sofoklis Schortsanitis, who attacked the rim twice for a 2-7 Olympiacos lead. But he also committed 2 quick fouls and sat. His replacement, Bourousis, took a great pass from Teodosic, who then buried a triple and the free throw that came with it for a four-point play and a 6-13 advantage. Teletovic responded with a great pass for another Splitter dunk and his own fastbreak basket, but Childress and Kleiza also attacked in transition, forcing a Caja Laboral timeout at 8-17. The Reds kept surging, however, with a Bouroussis hook and another drive by Kleiza at 8-21. After several minutes without points, San Emeterio scored on the break for the hosts. But Kleiza answered quickly, and when Childress flew from the three-point line to the basket for a windmill dunk, it was 12-25 and even the home fans had to applaud. Caja Laboral refused to waste the end of the quarter, however, getting baskets from newly-added Taquan Dean, Lior Eliyahu and Splitter to lower the difference to 18-25.

Caja Laboral's confidence roared back as Huertas opened the second quarter by eluding Childress with a spectacular reverse and the added free throw. Next, he fed Eliyahu to cap an 11-0 run that put the hosts within 23-25. Kleiza broke the Olympiacos slide with a free throw to which Bouroussis added a layup, but Walter Herrmann on a turnaround and Huertas a lane jumper kept it close, 27-28. Bouroussis hit foul shots and a short two-pointer before Olympiacos re-opened a sizable lead with layups by Childress and Teodosic at 29-36. And if Caja Laboral got nice baskets from Eliyahu and Splitter, Olympiacos had Childress, who stepped out for a triple and then stole to feed Kleiza for a dunk at 31-43. Caja Laboral needed something again, and as in the first quarter, got it. Teletovic's first triple was the spark, then San Emeterio followed with a driving layup-plus-free throw, cutting the difference to 39-45 after one entertaining half.

It got even more entertaining for the fans in Vitoria when Teletovic and Huertas tied it up 45-45 on a pair of big triples right after the break. Huertas then did the honors of supplying the first Caja Laboral lead with a three-point play at 48-45. Olympiacos answered quickly. Childress dunked in traffic, Teodosic hit intentional free throws and Bouroussis stepped out for his own three-point blast as the Reds grabbed the advantage back, 48-52. The visitors' show continued as Childress bounced a backdoor pass to Kleiza for a flying slam. But again, Caja Laboral refused to wilt. San Emeterio blasted a triple and Huertas drove hard for a layup. Then San Emeterio stole the show with back-to-back triples, the second of which suddenly had Caja Laboral ahead 59-55. Splitter added free throws at 61-56 before Teodosic ended the Olympiacos drought with a layup, although Carl English did the same for the hosts. Out of nowhere in the quarter's final minute, Teodosic went cross-court to Scoonie Penn for a game-tying triple. Then, Papaloukas connected with Nikola Vujcic for the go-ahead basket on the buzzer, making it 63-65 for Olympiacos after 30 minutes.

Kleiza hit a running basket to extend the Olympiacos run to 0-9. Teletovic backed down for a fadeaway to restart Caja Laboral, then he made a quick-release triple look easier for another lead change, 68-67. Vujcic's baseline hook took a lead back for Olympiacos and Papaloukas drove to add his first points to it. A couple rare misses followed before Huertas hit a one-handed runner, but Teodosic fed Papaloukas for a reverse in response. When the same duo switched roles, with Teodosic scoring, it was 70-75 and Caja Laboral needed a timeout. It worked well, too, as Huertas rorke free for a layup, but Papaloukas found Childress down low to answer. As much as Olympiacos was scoring under the basket, now with a jump hook by Loukas Mavrokefalidis, Caja Laboral could not hit in close. Another Caja Laboral timeout was needed, out of which Teletovic boomed from long-range and Huertas inside to suddenly cut the difference again, to 77-79. But then the answer came from Bouroussis, first from downtown, then on an inside basket at 79-84. When Huertas made it closer at the foul line, up stepped Childress with his own three-point strike. One more driving layup by Teodosic and it was 79-89 with 90 seconds left. Caja Laboral kept working to limit the damage - with Eliyahu, Huertas and San Emeterio finishing the scoring - but the crucial first victory in Group H was going back to Pireaus with Olympiacos.

Thursday, January 28, 2010
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Attendance: 9700
By Quarter1234
Caja Laboral18212422
Olympiacos Piraeus25202024
End of Quarter1234
Caja Laboral18396385
Olympiacos Piraeus25456589
Caja Laboral
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 RIBAS, PAU 8:54     0/2   1 1 2     1     1   -2
5 DEAN, TAQUAN 16:34 2 0/1 0/2 2/2   4 4     1     2 2 2
7 SINGLETARY, SEAN 3:56   0/1                     1   -2
9 HUERTAS, MARCELINHO 28:39 23 8/11 1/2 4/4 1 1 2 3 2 3   1 1 4 25
11 ELIYAHU, LIOR 20:37 8 4/8     1 3 4 2   2         8
12 TELETOVIC, MIRZA 29:13 18 2/5 4/6 2/2   4 4 2   2     2 2 17
19 SAN EMETERIO, FERNANDO 34:01 20 4/7 3/5 3/3 2 1 3 7 1       1 4 29
21 SPLITTER, TIAGO 30:52 10 4/10   2/4 1 5 6 1   1     4 6 10
23 ENGLISH, CARL 19:45 2 1/1 0/3     2 2 1 1       2 1 2
25 BUESA, MARTIN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
35 HERRMANN, WALTER 7:29 2 1/1 0/1     2 2           1   2
42 BARAC, STANKO DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team             2 2               2
Totals 200:00 85 24/45 8/21 13/15 6 25 31 16 4 10 0 1 15 19 93
        53.3% 38.1% 86.7%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Olympiacos Piraeus
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 PAPALOUKAS, THEODOROS 20:45 4 2/2 0/2     3 3 6   1     1 2 11
5 PENN, SCOONIE 20:53 3   1/2     1 1 1 2 1     4 1 2
6 CHILDRESS, JOSH 32:50 21 6/9 3/6 0/1 1 6 7 3 2 1     1 1 25
7 VUJCIC, NIKOLA 9:05 4 2/5     2   2     1     1 1 2
9 BOUROUSIS, IOANNIS 22:58 18 5/7 2/5 2/2 2 9 11 1 1 1     2 1 24
10 HALPERIN, YOTAM 13:08                 1       3   -2
11 KLEIZA, LINAS 33:39 18 7/13 0/2 4/6 2 5 7 3   2 1   2 4 19
12 MAVROKEFALIDIS, LOUKAS 9:11 3 1/1   1/2                   1 3
13 VASILOPOULOS, PANAGIOTIS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
17 BEVERLEY, PATRICK DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 TEODOSIC, MILOS 32:24 14 4/4 1/5 3/3   3 3 6   1     3 4 19
21 SCHORTSANITIS, SOFOKLIS 5:07 4 2/3       1 1           2   2
Team             1 1               1
Totals 200:00 89 29/44 7/22 10/14 7 29 36 20 6 8 1 0 19 15 106
        65.9% 31.8% 71.4%

Head Coaches

Caja Laboral
"I think we lost a game that we could have won. We lacked better defense in precise moments of the game, and some more patience in the clutch minutes. But what killed us was our bad start. We had a soft defensive approach in the very beginning and that became a big obstacle on our way to a win. We managed to react and improve, but they are one of the best teams in Europe, because of their deep roster and because of their incredible talent, and they knew how to play their game."
Olympiacos Piraeus
"I think that the fans that attended this game enjoyed it. We knew that we needed to control the tempo of the game from the beginning. Every time we failed to control the tempo of the game, we struggled a lot. We did a good job overall. We avoided a big number of mistakes and we kept our concentration, which led us to this important win. I would like to congratulate my players for the good job they did tonight. We just got one win tonight, but we need to grab three or four more to achieve our goal. We have been through this before and we know that the goal is still quite far."


Caja Laboral
"The most important thing tonight was to win, and we were unable to do that. We fought hard, we had our chances and we did our best, but it wasn’t to be. Trying to be positive, we managed to avoid a big deficit in the end, so we could have a chance in Athens because we would need to beat them by 5, not by a larger difference. Every time we tried to escape, they managed to come back into the game thanks to outside shots by people we didn’t expect like Childress or Bourousis. But we cannot stop here and think about this loss for a single minute now. We need to keep working and focus on our next game because this was only the beginning."
Olympiacos Piraeus
"We are very happy for this win. It’s hard to win on the road and we managed to do it in Vitoria, against Caja Laboral, so I think we are in a good situation to try to clinch first place of the group at the end of the Top 16. I think we played very good defense overall, we managed to stop Splitter, although Teletovic did a great job. But overall, I think that our defense was good and kept them at low shooting percentages. Experience counts in these games. In the big games the wins usually goes to the side with the experience."
Olympiacos Piraeus
"There are lot of games left, and all of them are going to be tough ones. It’s always important to start by winning, especially on the road, and Vitoria is one of the toughest places to win, so we feel satisfied. We managed to stop their transition game, we prevented them from running, which is how they are used to playing. They try to play very fast, make a lot of threes, but we stayed cool and that led us to the win. The game could have gone either way. I think it was a matter of better execution in the clutch moments."
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