By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Coming out of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four and reconnecting with the best-of-five series for a spot in the championship series of Greece’s Basket League Playoffs, Olympiacos dominated PAOK mateco for the win, 97-77, in PAOK Sports Arena Thursday.
Greece’s international combo guard Kostas Sloukas stuffed the stat sheet with 23 points, eight assists, five rebounds, and one steal lasting nearly 29 minutes in Game 2 of the Semifinals series. Sasha Vezenkov added 17 points. Moustapha Fall posted a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double. At the losing end, experienced point guard Jalen Riley tallied a game-high 27 points and Dutch import Yannick Franke followed with 18 points to his name.
Losing his beard, Thomas Walkup also fouled out with 3:44 left in the third period and a favorable distance growing over 20 points. The former Stephen F. Austin standout logged four points and three assists in a 16-minute showing in Thessaloniki. Besides ineligible Isaiah Canaan, the visitors also missed Tarik Black with a left knee injury.
Olympiacos earns sweep opportunity
Recovering from the narrow loss to Real Madrid in the championship game of the 2023 EuroLeague Final Four, the Reds went up 2-0 in the series. Looking to clinch a berth in the Finals and eventually battle for a back-to-back domestic league championship, Game 3 will be held in Peace and Friendship Stadium Sunday. They already won Greece’s Cup and Super Cup earlier in the 2022-23 campaign.
“The Final Four was a strong emotional shock, regardless of how it was decided. Overall, it’s the peak of the season and the team must immediately jump back into domestic action,” noted head coach Giorgos Bartzokas following the Game 2 win, “I am a huge supporter of the players we have this year.”
Preparing for Game 4 on the road Saturday, Panathinaikos leads Peristeri bwin 2-1 in the other Semifinals series.