Impressive Olympiacos thrash sorry Valencia
EUROLEAGUE REGULAR SEASON - ROUND 2
Olympiacos have notched their maiden victory of the 2019/2020 EuroLeague campaign, thrashing Valencia 89-63 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium.
With David Blatt having been shown the door after an opening-day loss to ASVEL last week, Olympiacos didn’t come into this game particularly well-prepared, but they displayed brilliant basketball to earn an important 89-63 triumph over reigning EuroCup champions Valencia in Piraeus under the guidance of temporary head coach Kestutis Kemzura.
Nikola Milutinov was dominant in the paint for Olympiacos, tallying a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds as he proved impossible for Valencia to deal with. Vassilis Spanoulis picked up 17 points, six assists and four rebounds as he rolled back the years with a vintage performance.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Kostas Papanikolaou and Giorgos Printezis also caught the eye with powerful showings. Jordan Loyd took 12 points for hapless Valencia.
Olympiacos welcome Zenit Saint Petersburg to the SEF next week, while Valencia host Anadolu Efes as they search for their first win of the tournament.
Milutinov, who had briefly been linked with a move away during the summer, got the home crowd going with the first points of the evening from under the basket. The talismanic Spanoulis then drained a tough three-pointer as Olympiacos began with a 11-0 run.
Valencia did score with five three-point shots after that poor start, but that was only good enough to cut the deficit to nine as Olympiacos fired on all attacking cylinders to score 31 in the frame.
The one-way traffic increased in the second quarter as Olympiacos played some of their best basketball of the calendar year. Suffocating Valencia with superb defensive play, the Erythrolefki were effective in transition and shot the ball ruthlessly. Papanikolaou and Spanoulis nailed two particularly impressive shots from behind the arc as Olympiacos opened up a huge 24-point lead.
Considering the big score difference, the tempo slowed somewhat in the third quarter, with the intensity dropping considerably. Olympiacos continued bossing proceedings at both ends to lead by 28 ahead of the fourth period.
Olympiacos did lose concentration at times in the concluding period, but they easily saw the match out to complete a resounding, well-needed win in front of their supporters.