By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Maccabi Tel Aviv captured its fourth consecutive EuroLeague win by defeating Olympiacos Piraeus 90-65 on the road. The Reds were beaten in their second straight match at home, two days after their away victory over CSKA Moscow.
It was the first visit at Olympiacos for former team head coach Giannis Sfairopoulos and it was a triumphant one. Sfairopoulos, who was honored by Olympiacos before tipoff, had led the team to two (2015, 2016) Greek League titles plus the EuroLeague finals of 2015 and 2017.
Three Maccabi players scored in double figures in what was a powerful team effort on both ends of the floor. Scottie Wilbekin dropped 19 points on 4/9 triples, including the icing on the cake for the 65 – 87 with 1:44 to play. Tyler Dorsey had a season-high 19 points (4/6 3-pointers) and Nate Wolters posted 10 points.
The Reds honored Sfairopoulos
“I think our players were really committed today. We played with great energy and you saw everyone who came off the bench helped the team to play and the energy that we played the whole game. We allowed just 25 points in the second half and that was the big difference we had“, said coach Giannis Sfairopoulos following Maccabi’s victory. The former Olympiacos coach was honored by his former team before the tip-off.
For Olympiacos, Giorgos Printezis had 16 points and four rebounds and Brandon Paul 12 points plus five boards. Taylor Rochestie (4 points in 15:50) and Willie Reed (1 point in 5:58) made their debuts with the Greek team.
Maccabi led for the vast majority of the game following the first minutes and Olympiacos’ 9 – 2 entrance. The Israeli side took its first double-digit lead with three minutes left for halftime, making it 30 – 40 and then kept pushing after the break to establish a double-digit advantage.
The hosts were unable to keep up with their opponents’ fluid offensive flow, had poor execution and lackluster creativity, something evident by their 10 assists with which they ultimately finished the match. Meanwhile, the “Yellows” proceeded to dominate. When Yovel Zoosman connected with Othello Hunter for an alley-oop slam and the 59 – 76 with 6:24 remaining, Olympiacos called a time out yet Maccabi had already set the foundations for turning the match into a blowout.
Photo credit: EuroLeague