By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Giorgos Printezis scored a team-high 16 points including the game-winning layup with three seconds to play as Olympiacos Piraeus beat Crvena Zvezda 81-79 on the road following a comeback from 16 points down.
With the score 79 – 79, Printezis received the inbounds pass, faked the pass to dispatch Johnny O’ Bryant, and made the layup while winning the foul by Jordan Loyd. He missed the free throw and then Red Star players didn’t manage to get a good shot attempt to win the match.
“When the coach trusted me [to take the last shot], I had to take a good decision, to find my empty player, take the responsibility and finally, I was lucky,” Printezis said. Before his game-winner he had scored the basket for the 78 – 78.
Apart from Printezis, Vassilis Spanoulis dropped a season-high 14 points which weren’t only crucial for his team’s win but also pushed him to the top spot of the all-time scorers’ list in the history of the European Champions’ Cup.
Kostas Sloukas had 12 points plus seven assists, Aaron Harrison scored nine out of his 12 points in a row during the beginning of the third period, while Giannoulis Larentzakis made back-to-back triples in the fourth period and had a season-high 11 points overall, emerging as an x-factor for the Reds on both ends.
O’ Bryant led Zvezda scorers with 16 points. Jordan Loyd had 13 points plus five assists and Corey Walden had 13 points as well for Red Star that was up 30 – 14 at the end of the first period by putting on the court huge intensity and energy while shooting 6-8 triples.
Olympiacos reacted in style and kept erasing pieces of that deficit until taking the lead in the third period and going ahead 61 – 70 early in the fourth quarter. The hosts were the ones to come back and retake the lead 78 – 76, albeit briefly.
“We should be a bit unhappy and sad about the opportunity to win this game,” Crvena Zvezda coach Sasha Obradovic said. “I think we had a chance, especially after the great start… With our great energy and great fight, we had the opportunity to finish the game in our favor. It didn’t happen. We need to look forward and see the next chances.”
“Not a bad job”
Olympiacos completed this week with two wins away from home since the Greek team was coming off a victory over Barcelona Tuesday for a rescheduled game.
“Not bad,” as Olympiacos coach Giorgos Bartzokas described these last days for his squad.
“You cannot underestimate anybody. You cannot calm down ever,” Bartzokas said. “Everybody is so strong. We saw it today. Red Star played an extremely good game with intensity, with fighting spirit, so we needed to play really well in the second half using different players from the previous game, basically, with Barcelona because we wanted match up the energy… We need to say that we didn’t do a bad job this week. Two games away and we won them both.”