The return of captain Vassilis Spanoulis to the Olympiakos team after his injury coincided with an emphatic victory over Laboral Kutxa with a 89-59 score in Piraeus on Friday, to keep the club’s chances for a quarterfinal berth alive.
Olympiakos put an end to its losing streak in Europe’s top club competition defeating the group’s bottom club in a way that will also boost the morale of the European champion.
The Basques were a shadow of the team that a couple of weeks earlier had beaten Panathinaikos in Athens, and lost touch with their host from the second period, with the first half ending 45-27 in the Reds’ favor.
Boosted by over 10,000 supporters, Olympiakos produced some spectacular basketball in the second half, with coach Giorgos Bartzokas allowing all of his players on the bench to play some meaningful part in the game.
The Reds were completely dominant in shooting rates and rebounds (39 against 21), to end up with a precious as well as convincing victory ahead of three very difficult games until the end of the group. It was Olympiakos’s fifth win in 11 games, one less than Panathinaikos.
Spanoulis scored 14 points, beaten only by Matt Lojeski, scorer of 16 on the night.