By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Following Friday’s reports on the upcoming return of Giorgos Bartzokas to the team, Olympiacos Piraeus outlasted Valencia Basket and grabbed a 93-91 victory in La Fonteta, for Round 18 of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
Giorgos Printezis and Sasha Vezenkov were two of the key players for Olympiacos this time. Printezis led the winners with a team-high 18-point performance.
Vezenkov posted 17 points as Olympiacos managed to get a road win in what’s expected to be the last game with coach Kestutis Kemzura on the bench. “Everybody who stepped on the court gave 100%. We played as a team, as a unit, and we are very happy we won in such a difficult gym”, said Vezenkov.
Fernando San Emeterio led the efforts of the hosts with a game-high performance of 23 points, four rebounds, but it was far from enough.
Vezenkov and Papanikolaou step up
The two teams were going head to head for most of the first half, with Olympiacos leading 39-36 at halftime. The visiting side starting building its lead in the third, though Valencia wasn’t giving up the fight. Still, the Greek side stayed up 70-63 after 30 minutes.
Valencia used a short run in the fourth period to trim the deficit to just one point (78-77, 35′), then San Emeterio evened the game to 80 points with 3:52 remaining. Vezenkov’s and Kostas Papanikolaou’s (16 points) impact was key towards the victory for the visitors, both stepping up in crunch time.
With a few seconds remaining, Printezis and Spanoulis sealed the deal with a pair of free throws awarded to each.
“Everyone contributed and we fought as a team. 23 ass shows the quality we have as a team. We made a very important step at the start of the second round, to start with a win and looking forward to the next games”, mentioned Kestutis Kemzura after the post-game press conference.
The Red and Whites bounced back from three consecutive defeats to improve to a 7-11 record at the midpoint of the regular season.