By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
With a second left in the game between Olympiacos Piraeus and Maccabi Tel Aviv, Aaron Harrison pulled the trigger from deep and drained the buzzer-beating 3-pointer that gave his team an 85 – 82 win at home.
It was the third consecutive victory for the Reds and second straight loss for their opponents.
“The coach told me to be aggressive and drew a great play. I just had to do something to help my team win,” Harrison said after the game to EuroLeague TV before his coach commended his character.
Maccabi had tied the score at 82 thanks to a triple by Scottie Wilbekin, the team’s leading scorer with 18 points.
“Wilbekin is a great player, and he did it again like last year, I remember”, Olympiacos coach Giorgos Bartzokas mentioned. “We lost that game but this time the luck was with us. With the personality of Aaron, we won this game. Every game is important. Maccabi played great today and we didn’t have so much energy to play better defense. We focused so much on offense and Maccabi punished all the mistakes we made on defense.”
Hassan Martin led Olympiacos with 16 points and eight rebounds while Sasha Vezenkov had 14 points plus six boards. Harrison finished with 12 points and Vassilis Spanoulis added 11 for the Reds that were leading up by 10 in the mid of the second period.
Maccabi was erasing bits of that deficit but didn’t completely come back until Wilbekin made it 71 – 71 early in the fourth quarter. The lead switched hands multiple times until the finale that saw the Reds victorious.
Maccabi coach Giannis Sfairopoulos talked about the details that decided the game: “Throughout the game, it was a close one. Olympiacos took a 10 point lead, but slowly we came back and competed until the end. We fought really well and showed a different character than the last game against Bayern, and small details decided the final score. The positives are Chris Jones and Oz Blayzer, who proved they are true EuroLeague players, but we are sad because we lost our third game in a row in the final minute. We will continue to fight, practice and improve our game, especially on the small details, to get these types of wins in the future.”
Apart from Wilbekin, Othello Hunter (15 points, seven rebounds), Chris Jones (12 points, six assists, four rebounds), Elijah Bryant (12 points) and Oz Blayzer (10 points) also scored in double figures for Maccabi.