Olympiacos...Ready for the Final-4
Olympiacos defeated Aris 77-84 in game 2 of the Greek Basket League Playoff semi-finals and with a 2-0 series lead, can now turn their attention to next weekend’s Euroleague Final-4.
Olympiacos got off to a strong start in the first half and managed to build their lead to as many as 12-points, 17-29, before a late push from Aris brought the hosts back within 2 points going into halftime, 41-43.
A 12-0 run headed by Olympiacos’ best players on the night, Spanoulis and Papanikolaou, re-gave the Erythrolefki a comfortable lead which continued to grow as the game went on. A good 7-0 run from Aris cut Olympiacos’ lead to just seven (had reached up to 17-points) , however Olympiacos responded with a 9-0 run of their own and marched on to a 77-84 victory over the Kitrinomavri.
Olympiacos had an exceptional night from behind the arch (16/34) and will hope to have similar numbers in next week’s Final-4 in Konstantinoupoli.
Papanikolaou led Olympiacos with 23 points, 5/7 from 3-point range, with Spanoulis adding 19-points and 8 assists. With his 19 points, the Olympiacos captain broke the 5000 point mark in the Greek Basket League, becoming only the third player to do so in the competition’s history. Birch finished with a double-double, 14 points and 11 rebounds.
For the losing side, who were without Kavvadas and Jackson, Cummings and Dragicevic scored 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Olympiacos will now turn their attention to next weekend’s Euroleague Final-4 where they will first play CSKA Moscow in the semi-finals, and if they defeat the Russian giants, will play in Suinday’s European Championship final against Real Madrid or Fenerbahce.
Game 3 of the Greek Basket League Playoff semi-final series will take place after the Final-4 when Olympiacos host Aris on May 25th with a chance to secure their place in the Basket League Finals.