Olympiacos shuts down Virtus after the break for fifth straight win

2024-03-07T23:06:33+00:00 2024-03-08T00:16:41+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

07/Mar/24 23:06

Petrusev-Olympiacos-Virtus-Euroleague (1)

Olympiacos got a crucial win on the road to avoid the play-in test and make it directly to the playoffs

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

Olympiacos Piraeus came back from down 12 points against Virtus Bologna to win 74 – 69 and grab its fifth straight EuroLeague victory.

The Reds also got the important tiebreaker since the Italian team had won by two at home in the first leg of the regular season. Both teams are now tied at 17 – 11.

Olympiacos captain Kostas Papanikolaou scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds in one of his top performances this season. Isaiah Canaan scored 12 and Moustapha Fall had 11 points. Filip Petrusev finished with seven points, all of them in the final period, and seven key rebounds.


“We are in the final stretch of the season and now we have to step up”, said Papanikolaou after the game and added: “When a team like us which is a defensive team, receives 46 points in the first half, something is wrong”. 

A second-half comeback

In theory, the hosts, playing without Thomas Walkup, were in trouble and that was the case for 20 minutes.

However, Olympiacos pulled off an outstanding 16 – 0 run after trailing 34 – 46 near the end of the second quarter to turn the game completely upside down in the third period. After an offensively strong first half, Virtus struggled immensely and just managed to score one basket in the third quarter as their opponents went up 57 – 51.

“We received just five points in the third quarter and that says it all”, added Papanikolaou.

With momentum on its side, Olympiacos retained a lead and even went up 68 – 57 with three minutes to play. Virtus was unable to come back but Nigel Williams-Goss scored a key basket for the 71 – 64 and Alec Peters drained a triple to make it 74 – 67 with 16 seconds remaining, essentially securing also the tiebreaker for the hosts.

Toko Shengelia led Virtus with 15 points, six rebounds, four assists, and four steals.

“I consider this game as of the most important of the season”, said Olympiacos coach Giorgos Bartzokas, “our whole backcourt was essentially out and we had to demonstrate our character. The numbers in the second half were amazing”. 

As Virtus coach Luka Banchi admitted: “Olympiacos entered the second half as expected, super aggressively and we couldn’t keep the same qualify of basketball we had in the first half”. 

Photo credit: EuroLeague