Olympiakos has all but abandoned its hopes for a home advantage in the Euroleague play-offs after succumbing to visiting Armani Milano 88-86 in Piraeus on Thursday.
The European champion missed its captain, Vassilis Spanoulis once again – he suffers from a knee injury – and has now got a 4-5 record in the second round of the competition which even puts its qualification to the quarterfinals at risk.
Olympiakos was actually beaten at its own run-and-gun game, hence the high score in a match that should have been tighter given its significance. Milano had also beaten the Greeks by 30 points in Italy.
The start was excellent for the Piraeus team, building a 13-point lead (22-9) from the first few minutes, with Stratos Perperoglou having a great night (scoring 22 points overall).
However the Italians started cutting the deficit and went ahead by three points at half-time (50-47). They extended their advantage to 10 points halfway through the last quarter, when the Greeks started fighting back to advance by a single point.
Yet with the score at 81-80 in their favor the Reds ran out of steam, and Milano scored the precious points that gave it victory in the end, to become the favorite to finish second, behind runaway group leader Barcelona.
Olympiakos’s best player on the night was Bryant Dunston, who in the last quarter almost single-handedly stops numerous attacks of the visitors. He was not enough though…