Eriksson leads Alba to away triumph over Olympiacos

2020-01-14T21:50:46+00:00 2020-01-15T20:30:25+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

14/Jan/20 21:50

Giorgos Bartzokas’ return wasn’t combined with a victory for Olympiacos.

By Eurohoops team/

Marcus Eriksson scored a season-high 22 points on 6/9 3-pointers to lead bottom-placed Alba Berlin to a 93-86 win over Olympiacos Piraeus on the road. It was the first-ever win for Alba over the “Reds”.

Alba Berlin captured its second victory this season over Greek teams on the road since they had also beaten Panathinaikos Athens. The German side improved to 6-13.

“It one of those games where you get good looks and I was fortunate to make them”, Eriksson said. “We had a great performance, Olympiacos away is always a tough game and we’re really happy with the win.”

A few days after its away victory over Valencia, Olympiacos suffered its 12th loss this season in Giorgos Bartzokas’ first game in his return as head coach.

Giorgos Printezis had 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists Nikola Milutinov dropped 15 points and got six boards while Vassilis Spanoulis notched 14 points and nine assists for the Reds that are seeing their playoff chances getting trimmed with this result.

Olympiacos had returned from an 11-point deficit (30-41) to take a 71-68 lead at the end of the third quarter thanks to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Sasha Vezenkov. Alba overpowered its opponents with a stunning 2-14 run in the first 3:15 minutes of the final period and the hosts trailed by two-possessions distance until the final minutes.

Giorgos Printezis made it 85 – 87 with a minute left and then Nikola Milutinov had an opportunity to tie the game for Olympiacos. The Serbian big made 1/2 and then Spanoulis was called with an unsportsmanlike foul on Rokas Giedraitis. Alba players were perfect from the line in the last minutes to secure the win.

Martin Hermannsson added 16 points and six assists while Giedraitis scored 15 points for Alba. Aito Reneses’ players had a powerful offensive performance, particularly from the 3-point line where they shot with 13/23. They had closed halftime with 9/14 triples to get a 42 – 50 lead at the break.

“We are on a good line”

For coach Reneses, this win was one of the high notes of the season: “A very good victory for us. We are beginning to recover our players with Peyton Siva just having three weeks out, but the other two players [Tyler Cavanaugh and Johannes Thiemann] were out for two months and they need more time. But in spite of this, we did a good job. We scored a very good percentage in three-pointers, the same way that Olympiacos had a very good percentage in two-pointers – especially in the first half. We are on a good line; after losing three games in a row we have recovered not only tactically but also our energy and focus, and we’re in good shape.”

Meanwhile, coach Bartzokas was not surprised by his Olympiacos’ woes: “It was nothing unexpected today. Our team is poor defensively, so although we tried hard to come back and I cannot complain about this, before the game we emphasized we could not let them feel confident because they are a great shooting team. But we allowed 9 out of 14 three-pointers in the first half. So in this part of the game we failed. If you look at the game stats, in every category we are better or equal, except three-point shots, which they had more than 50% which is very big for an away team. Basically, there is a defensive problem in our team which is not new. On offense, we had the desire to pass the ball and play together. This was our second goal because we are one of the worst teams in the league for assists, so I cannot complain about our unselfish way of playing. There are no easy EuroLeague games; everybody can beat everybody. My conclusion is that we played their game.”

Photo credit: EuroLeague