Olympiacos shuts off Panathinaikos, takes 1-0 lead

2018-06-03T20:00:47+00:00 2018-06-04T15:09:35+00:00.

Dionysis Aravantinos

03/Jun/18 20:00

Eurohoops.net

Although Panathinaikos started the match off on the right foot, Olympiacos bounced back and prevaile on the road in Game 1 of the Greek Finals.

By Antonis Stroggylakis / info@eurohoops.net

Olympiacos got past archrival Panathinaikos 75 – 65 in the first game of the Greek League Finals and gained the home court advantage of the best-of-five series.

Panathinaikos was undefeated in the Greek League prior to this match with a 31-0 record. Yet Olympiacos‘ defensive scheme shut off the Greens’ offense following the first 12-13 minutes.

After erasing a 10-point advantage (29 – 19) that Panathinaikos built early in the second period, mostly thanks to a fiery early start by Mike James (11 points in eight minutes), Olympiacos reached halftime up 35-32.

The Reds retained a lead and went ahead by nine points (59-68) with four minutes left to play, following a big bucket by Kostas Papanikolaou and a layup, courtesy of George Bogris. Vangelis Mantzaris then drained a downtown basket for a double-digit lead, 60 – 71, and Jamel McLean put the cherry on top for the visitors with a two-hand slam.

The hosts were unable to execute their offensive plan, struggling with their perimeter shooting (5/29) and finishing their game with merely eight assists. Their inability to connect to the basket even after wide-open looks that Olympiacos‘ defense amply gave certain Panathinaikos’ players like Nick Calathes (0/7), proved to be fatal.

Papanikolaou finished with 14 points, while Vangelis Mantzaris, Brian Roberts added 12 points, Mantzaris 11 and Ioannis Papapetrou 10 for Olympiacos.

For the hosts, Mike James put up a game-high 23 points yet neither his our Chris Singleton’s output (18 points, five rebounds) were enough for PAO.