Reds join Greens in Euroleague quarterfinals

By George Georgakopoulos

Olympiakos has joined Panathinaikos in mathematically qualifying to the quarterfinals of the Euroleague thanks to Fenerbahce’s loss at Laboral Kutxa on Thursday, so its 83-78 win at Anadolu Efes on Friday had no significance for the spot the Reds will eventually get in their group.

The European champion will finish either third or fourth, depending on whether it beats Panathinaikos in Piraeus on April 10. As things stands the winner of the Greek derby will face CSKA Moscow, and the loser Real Madrid. In neither case will the Greek teams have home advantage in the best-of-five series for a spot in the Final Four.

In Istanbul Olympiakos had the upper hand throughout the match, and despite playing without injured Stratos Perperoglou and Giorgos Printezis it controlled the game against the bottom club of the group and advanced 43-32 at half-time.

Lacking any real motive, the Greeks dropped a gear in the second half and the hosts reduced the arrears to get to within striking distance after a great showing by Efes’s Greek star Costas Vassiliadis, scorer of 16 points on the night.

Eventually Olympiakos won by five for its third consecutive victory in the Euroleague. It had Vassilis Spanoulis score 17 points and Bryant Dunston with Matt Lojeski notch up 13 points each.