Papanikolaou returns as Olympiacos prepares for Game 3 against Barcelona

2024-04-29T12:10:36+00:00 2024-04-29T12:31:57+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

29/Apr/24 12:10

A huge reinforcement for Olympiacos en route to two home affairs versus FC Barcelona this week

By Johnny Askounis/

After missing Game 1 and Game 2 due to illness, Kostas Papanikolaou is cleared to play for Olympiacos in Game 3 of a best-of-five series versus FC Barcelona.

“He rejoined team practices yesterday. He lacked some strength. He will not need to play 30 minutes, obviously, but he will be available. I think he will be able to help us,” Giorgos Bartzokas updated the status of the team captain on Monday, previewing the next collision with the Catalonia powerhouse.

Backed by a clean bill of health for the Reds, Game 3 is set to be played in the Peace And Friendship Stadium on Tuesday. Keeping the series in SEF, Game 4 follows on Thursday. Game 5 in Palau Blaugrana, if necessary, is set for May 8.

“It is more about the team and not about each player. We need to stick together and do everything we can just to win the game,” Nikola Milutinov described his approach to Game 3 after being limited to a total of 13 minutes for both contests in Barcelona. Averaging nearly 19 minutes per game in the 2023-24 Regular Season, his contributions amounted to 8.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest.

“Over five potential games in two weeks, a deeper roster brings more energy. Of course, more players reduce fatigue,” Bartzokas replied to a question about using additional options and stretching playing time across the lineup.

Similar to Olympiacos, all Barca players are also projected to be available for Game 3.

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