Poor third period costs Olympiakos loss at Vitoria

By George Georgakopoulos

Olympiakos started off its campaign in the Euroleague’s top 16 on the wrong foot as it went down 82-74 at Caja Laboral on Thursday.

The Spanish side made the most of its teamwork boasting 20 assists against Olympiakos’s 13 and committing just seven turnovers in the game compared with Olympiakos’s 13 -- an uncharacteristically high figure for the Reds.

Although the European champion was the strongest team of the two in the first half, leading 44-40 at half-time, a disastrous third period (partial score 27-11) saw the side from Vitoria gain the lead and stretch it by as much as 14 points toward the end (80-66).

A last-gasp effort for Olympiakos, mainly thanks to the persistence of Pero Antic, proved too little, too late, at the court where the Piraeus team had won just a few weeks ago.

This was the first defeat for the Reds after seven consecutive wins in the Euroleague and 16 in all competitions, but may not matter too much for them given that it only came at the start of the second group stage that will have as many as 14 rounds.

Spanoulis notched up 18 points, followed by Antic with 13.