By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
In the first-leg game between Olympiacos Piraeus and Bayern Munich, the Reds saw their opponents making a fourth-quarter comeback to get the win at home.
In Piraeus, once the victory-hungry Greek side, and Sasha Vezenkov in particular, smelled blood in the fourth period it never looked back.
“Ok, we scored many shots that we did not hit in previous games, but if you keep opponents to 72 points you have much more possibilities to win rather than allowing 93,” Vezenkov said after the final buzzer.
No less than five players scored in double figures for Olympiacos, apart from Vezenkov.
Augustine Rubit dropped 14 points, Giorgos Printezis had 10 plus six rebounds, while Wade Baldwin, Antonis Koniaris and Brandon Paul posted 10 points apiece. Taylor Rochestie initiated plenty of offense for his teammates with 12 assists to go with his two points.
Vladimir Lucic and TJ Bray scored 10 points each and Greg Monroe finished with a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds for Bayern that crumbled down after the mid of the third period and was completely overwhelmed in the fourth.
The German team was up 43 – 49 six minutes into the third period after recovering from an 11-point deficit, 37 – 26, in the second quarter. But the hosts kept them to six points during a span of more than six minutes through the third and fourth period to take and establish a double-digit lead when Vezenkov and Rubit drained triples for the 71 – 59. Olympiacos kept being “hot” until the very end.
“New coach, new rules”
Olympiacos coach Giorgos Bartzokas was satisfied with the defensive intencity of his team: “Our defense was solid this time. We did not panic, we phased the game as we wanted. When we found a good percentage from three, we opened up the game. I want to congratulate the players and the fans, we needed to get back on the winning track.”
And as Augustin Rubit added: “We have a new coach, we have new rules. We fought and put it all together. The way we want to finish the season, every game is important, so this is huge for us. I just want to play hard and play my role, and this was one of those games. That is all I want to do, my role.”