Papanikolaou to the rescue as Olympiacos stave-off Promitheas comeback
GREEK BASKET LEAGUE PLAYOFFS - SEMI-FINALS (GAME 2)
|Olympiacos||89 - 88||Prometheus|
|(31 - 17)
(55 - 38)
(74 - 64)
(89 - 88)
Olympiacos managed to stave-off a second half comeback from Promitheas to hold on for a narrow win en route to taking a commanding lead in the playoff series…
Although it was a nervy finish to the evening at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus on Saturday, Olympiacos managed to hold on for a narrow 89-88 win over Promitheas to take a 2-0 lead in the Greek Basket League semifinal playoff series.
Vassilis Spanoulis notched 20 points to lead Olympiacos scorers, while the Erythrolefki captain also added 7 assists to lead the Piraeus giants in attack. Georgios Printezis was also a key contributor on the night with 13 points, though most of the Greek international’ contributions came in a dominant first half.
Casey Prather led Promitheas with 22-point effort while teammate Mouhammad Faye added 17 points as the duo were influential in Promitheas’ second half fightback.
Olympiacos surged to a 31-17 lead in the first quarter as the home side looked to be in cruise control right from tip-off.
Despite a tighter second quarter, Olympiacos extended their lead in the second frame with a 24-21 run increasing the Olympiacos advantage to 55-38 at halftime.
The large deficit didn’t seem to discourage Promitheas in the second half as the Patras-based club persevered with a strong showing after the restart with a 26-19 run cutting Olympiacos’ down to 10 points heading into the fourth quarter.
Promitheas continued to make inroads in the Olympiacos lead in the fourth quarter with the visitors now able to keep Olympiacos from making their shots on the defensive end. Promitheas would be rewarded for their hard work late in the fourth quarter as they shockingly took the lead at 86-88, but a Papanikolaou three point dagger with 13 seconds remaining re-gave Olympiacos the lead at 89-88. Promitheas had two glorious chances to steal a victory at the end, but a missed layup and a bad pass from Prather would see Promitheas fail to make Olympiacos pay for their complacency.
Olympiacos, having come away unscathed despite a lopsided 50-34 run from Promitheas in the second half, will now look to secure a return to the Greek Basket League Finals as early as Tuesday when both sides meet in Patras for game three of the series.