Unforgiving Reds thrash Malaga in Spain

By George Georgakopoulos

Olympiakos beat Unicaja Malaga on Thursday for the fourth time this season, this time in Spain with an 80-63 score, and is now within reach of a spot in the quarterfinals of the Euroleague.

With an unforgiving scoring rate and a bone-crushing defensive mode that held the Spaniards at just 63 points, Olympiakos did not miss injured Giorgos Printezis and Stratos Perperoglou on the way to grabbing its sixth victory in 12 games.

The Reds led from start to finish, grabbing a 15-point advantage after the first few minutes (20-5), shook off the pressure from the host to regain that margin in the third period (58-43) and run away with the game in the fourth quarter as Malaga showed its inability to stop the relentless Vassilis Spanoulis, scorer of 20 points on the night.

Olympiakos left nothing to chance at Malaga and enjoyed a stunning 72 percent rate in two-pointers (21/29) and a 37 percent record in three-pointers (9/24), while its offensive teamwork was simply breathtaking given its 22 assists, against Unicaja's 10.

Besides Spanoulis, Matt Lojeski had a good game with 18 points, while youngster Ioannis Papapetrou notched up eight points.

Olympiakos’s run-in now takes it to Istanbul next week to face bottom club Anadolu Efes, before the clash with Panathinaikos in Piraeus in the last round of games for the second group stage of the competition.