2021-22Regular SeasonRound 2
October 08, 2021 CET: 20:00

Olympiacos holds off Real, improves to 2-0

In a Turkish Airlines EuroLeague classic decided in the final minute, Olympiacos Piraeus held off Real Madrid 74-68 in a jubilant Peace and Friendship Stadium on Friday night. The win improved Olympiacos to 2-0, while Real dropped to 1-1. Neither team held a lead bigger than 6 points until Olympiacos used a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to open a 70-59 margin. Real answered and got within a single possession in the final minute, but the Reds held on thanks to a basket from Sasha Vezenkov who paced the hosts with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Tyler Dorsey finished with 12 points in victory. Nigel Williams-Goss scored 16 for Real, and Walter Tavares had 15 points and 6 rebounds.

The offenses were not clicking in the early going, and the teams traded baskets when they did score. Tavares, Adam Hanga and Guerschon Yabusele netted from close range for the visitors, while Tyler Dorsey sparked the Reds early. Vezenkov used a pair of offensive rebounds to add 5 points to Olympiacos's tally, and help make it 13-10 after 10 minutes. Sergio Llull hit a transition triple to open the second quarter, but the Reds answered with a 6-0 run capped by a mid-range jumper from Kostas Sloukas. Giannoulis Larentzakis hit the first three-pointer for the hosts, but Williams-Goss scored twice at the other end to keep Real close. Both offenses picked up as the teams kept trading punches. Sloukas had a long jumper and Georgios Printezis delivered his trademark floater at one end, but dunks from Tavares and Vincent Poirier got Real within a single point, 28-27, and Williams-Goss scored 5 points to put the visitors up 30-32. Olympiacos regained the lead with a corner triple from Shaquielle McKissic, but Thomas Heurtel's baseline jumper gave Real a 35-36 halftime lead.

Tavares had a three-point play to extend it to 37-41 early in the second half, but Kostas Papanikolaou answered with a triple. After Papanikolaou and Yabusele traded threes, Hanga put Real up 40-45. But Vezenkov and Sloukas combined to scored the next 6 points, all from close range, to restore the hosts' lead, and Dorsey's long-range dagger made it 54-52 after three quarters. Tavares opened the fourth quarter with an alley-oop dunk, but Vezenkov and Larentzakis hit back-to-back triples before a three-point play from Hassan Martin made it 65-56. A three-pointer from Dorsey then opened up the first double-digit lead of the night, and his jumper made it 70-59 with under 4 minutes to go. The hosts kept Real at bay with its defense, allowing just 4 points in the next two minutes, before Tavares dunked and Heurtel made a second-chance triple with 48 seconds left that got the visitors within 71-68. But Vezenkov scored at the other end, and the Reds prevailed.

Triple difference

Olympiacos did not shine from long range, making only 8 of 27 shots, but three-point shooting made all the difference in this contest. Real Madrid finished the game 3-for-24, while Olympiacos hit that many triples in a span of two and a half minutes in the fourth quarter alone, turning a 56-56 tie into a 68-58 lead.

Key performer

Sasha Vezenkov was the only player in the game who played more than 30 minutes, and it paid off waiting for him despite him shooting 1-for-7 from long range. Vezenkov hit a key triple, sparking a 12-2 fourth-quarter run that gave Olympiacos a double-digit advantage, and the hosts never relinquished the lead after that.

Drought over

Olympiacos has won its first two games of the season for the first time in three years. In addition, the club has won its first two home games for the first time since October 2017. It is also the Reds' first win over Real since November 2018, a long wait for an even rivalry between two teams who have now met 33 times this century with Real holding an 18-15 edge.

Spanoulis in attendance

Recently retired Olympiacos and EuroLeague legend Vassilis Spanoulis was in attendance for this game, getting a huge ovation from the home crowd.

Sasha Vezenkov - Olympiacos Piraeus - EB21
Friday, October 8, 2021
Attendance: 7235
By Quarter1234
Olympiacos Piraeus13221920
Real Madrid10261616
End of Quarter1234
Olympiacos Piraeus13355474
Real Madrid10365268
Olympiacos Piraeus
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 WALKUP, THOMAS 25:14 2 1/3 0/3 0/2   4 4 5   1     2 4 5
2 DORSEY, TYLER 20:20 12 2/4 2/4 2/2   3 3 3   2 1   2 2 13
4 LOUNTZIS, MICHALIS 0:10                         1   -1
5 LARENTZAKIS, GIANNOULIS 11:57 8 1/1 2/4     1 1 1   1   1 4 1 3
10 FALL, MOUSTAPHA 19:47 3 1/1   1/1 1 5 6     1 1   2 1 8
11 SLOUKAS, KOSTAS 24:31 9 4/6 0/3 1/2 1 2 3 4 1 2     3 4 10
12 MARTIN, HASSAN 18:07 7 3/7   1/1 2 1 3         3   1 4
14 VEZENKOV, SASHA 31:28 16 5/6 1/7 3/4 5 5 10   1 1   1 2 3 18
15 PRINTEZIS, GEORGIOS 8:32 4 2/2 0/1     1 1     1     1   2
16 PAPANIKOLAOU, KOSTAS 24:33 9 1/1 2/4 1/3 1 1 2     3     2 2 4
17 JEAN-CHARLES, LIVIO 2:06   0/2     1   1         1     -2
77 MCKISSIC, SHAQUIELLE 13:15 4 0/1 1/1 1/2       2 2         3 9
Team             1 1     1          
Totals 200:00 74 20/34 8/27 10/17 11 24 35 15 4 13 2 6 19 21 73
        58.8% 29.6% 58.8%
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
Real Madrid
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 WILLIAMS-GOSS, NIGEL 24:06 16 4/6 0/3 8/9 2 1 3 2 1 1     2 8 21
1 CAUSEUR, FABIEN 14:04 2 1/2 0/2     1 1     1   1 3   -5
4 HEURTEL, THOMAS 20:43 7 2/3 1/5     2 2 5 2       1   10
5 FERNANDEZ, RUDY 22:38 2   0/5 2/2   1 1 3 2 2     1 1 1
6 ABALDE, ALBERTO 14:30 2 1/2 0/1     1 1 2   2     2 1  
8 HANGA, ADAM 17:56 6 3/6 0/2   1 4 5 1     1 1 3 1 5
12 ALOCEN, CARLOS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
17 POIRIER, VINCENT 14:48 6 1/2   4/4 2 4 6 2   3 2   2 3 13
22 TAVARES, WALTER 29:19 15 6/9   3/3 3 3 6 1 2 1 3   2 3 24
23 LLULL, SERGIO 10:05 5 1/2 1/3             1       1 2
28 YABUSELE, GUERSCHON 21:49 7 2/4 1/3   3 4 7 2 1 2     3 1 9
44 TAYLOR, JEFFERY 10:02   0/1       1 1           2   -2
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 68 21/37 3/24 17/18 12 24 36 18 8 13 6 2 21 19 81
        56.8% 12.5% 94.4%
Head coach: LASO, PABLO

Head Coaches

Olympiacos Piraeus

"In my opinion, the key was our defensive stability. We were consistent on defense for 40 minutes, staying with our plan. Everybody gave everything on defense. It is not easy to hold Real Madrid to scoring 68 points. They have a lot of talent, and we needed to make a great effort on defense."

"I would like to congratulate the team, obviously it is a big win. I think we controlled the pace of the game for 40 minutes. We were leading most of the 40 minutes, so we deserved to win. It is not easy against this great team. Right now they don't have any holes, having two or three players in every position, everybody is athletic, everybody is talented. So leading for almost 40 minutes and playing with this intensity, I think we saw our potential for this season. Of course, I would like to give big credit to our fans, for the big boost they gave us. We missed them the previous season. And also, because I am Greek and I know how everybody is thinking that we should we win the EuroLeague, I would like to say that this is just one win in the second game of the EuroLeague season. Being humble, keeping your mind in your head, and thinking always with the same approach of thinking about just one game and having a focus on the next one, will help us be successful."

Real Madrid

"I learned what I already know. That the Euroleague is very difficult, playing away from home is difficult. I think we were solid during 36, 37 minutes, but in 3 or 4 minutes they scored good baskets, good shots. We missed a lot of open jumpers. We fought until the end, but we were behind them. We got to learn that every EuroLeague game is like this."

"I congratulate Olympiacos for the victory. I think it was a very solid game for both teams, good game of basketball. I think both teams played at a great level defensively. And I think it was in 2 minutes that Vezenkov and Dorsey scored 9 or 10 points in a row and that made the difference. That opened up the game and it was difficult for us to come back on the scoreboard. When you take a look at the stats, it is very difficult to win away from home with 12% from three-point line. we were 3-for-24. A lot of time numbers are only numbers, but today I think it was decisive that our three-point percentage was not good enough to win. Give credit to Olympiacos because they played a very good game, very physical, and they have a very good victory that we know we will have to make up in the future."


Olympiacos Piraeus
"It was a defensive game. In the first half both teams were playing good defense. We couldn't get the scoring going, but in the second half we moved the ball better, we got better looks and we closed it out. We knew we needed to have a better second half to push the lead, it was a close game all night. We needed a hard-fought battle to go into the double-week next week, to mentally test us. The atmosphere was great in there. When it gets loud, we feed off that energy. We need that every game, and we are going to take care of the home court."
Olympiacos Piraeus
"It was a demanding game. It was an exhausting game. Real Madrid is a really physical team. We needed to manage their offensive game. On offense we did not play great, but in the second half we allowed 32 points, which is incredible in the EuroLeague nowadays. We did a great job and we won this game. I hit one out of seven threes, but I try to give everything to the team, in good moments and bad moments, but the most important thing is that we won."
Real Madrid
"I think our turnovers and allowing too many offensive rebounds really hurt us. We put ourselves in a bad spot. If you do that on the road against a good team, it is going to be tough to win. It is always tough to win on the road, especially here in Greece where they have really great fans. You got to be sharp, you can't turn the ball over, you can’t give up a lot of offensive rebounds. We gotta tighten up those areas we can control. When we do those things, and we are at our best, I think we are tough to beat. But we have to be focused to control those things."
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