By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Both teams were missing key players, however, Crvena Zvezda had no answer for Moustafa Fall and Alec Peters as Olympiacos got the 88-83 home win to complete the double-round week with two triumphs and get to a 5-4 record, while the Serbs dropped to 3-6.
The final score was as Fall had an impressive double-double (14 p. 14 r. 3 as. 3 bl.) and Peters was the top scorer of the winners with a career-high of 28 points while staying 39 minutes on the court. Isaiah Canaan also added 15 crucial points.
As Peters said: “Everybody knew that we had to react in this double week, after a bad start in the season and without so many guys in our roster. Everybody had to step up, me including, no matter what that means. I have help from my teammates and my coaches so I can’t take all the credit. And with Milutinov out, Fall is our anchor”.
Nemanja Nedovic with 26 points was the leader of Zvezda and Milos Teodosic added 15 points.
Olympiacos was missing Nikola Milutinov, Nigel Williams-Goss, and Shaq McKissic, while Zvezda was also missing Shabazz Napier, Adam Hanga, and Branko Lazic.
A fight until the closing seconds
After a balanced first half which was completed with Olympiacos leading by one (45-44), the home team locked down Zvezda, leading by 14 (64-50) and entering the last period with an 11-point advantage (64-53) thanks to a partial 19-9 score.
“he third quarter was decisive because we didn’t execute well on offense and this also created some lack of aggressiveness on defense”, admitted Zvezda’s coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos adding that they still had a chance in the end.
Zvezda managed to trim the lead to seven points (66-59) at the start of the fourth quarter. Michalis Loutzis answered back with a three (69-59), Olympiacos jumped to a 78-63 lead in the 34th minute with Peters doing damage but the game was not over.
Zvezda came back to make it a five-point game (80-75) with 2,5 minutes left in the game with Nedovic stealing the show with a four-point play.
However, the guests missed two chances to get even closer after that. “In the last two or three minutes, we had two open shots that weren’t made, we had a fast break that we couldn’t execute and we could have gotten something better of this”, said Sfairopoulos.
Alec Peters made 3/3 free throws, Τhomas Walkup added three out of six from the charity stripe, and two big threes by Teodosic and Nedosic which made the score 82-78 with 40 seconds left and 86-83 with 14 seconds left respectively were too late to change the course of the game. Kostas Papanikolaou with 2/2 free throws and 11 points sealed the deal (88-83).
“We have to make some better decisions and Zvezda has some amazingly talented players like Teodosic and Nedovic but we were not really in danger”, added Bartzokas.