SPORTS

Reds succumb to Fener in Euroleague final

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Olympiakos was unable to perform a second miracle in 48 hours and succumbed in the Euroleague final to host Fenerbahce 80-64 on Sunday in Istanbul’s Sinan Erdem Dome.

For two-and-a-half quarters the Reds were close to the Turkish team in the score, trailing 39-35 at half-time after another buzzer-beating triple, this time by Khem Birch, the Greek champion’s best player on the night.

However in the third quarter, with the score at 46-44, Fener powered ahead to lead 68-50 with a partial 22-6 score, as the Greek stars of Olympiakos went uncharacteristically quiet: Vassilis Spanoulis made two out of 12 field goals, Giorgos Printezis made three out of nine and Costas Papanikolaou scored just once from nine field goals.

Therefore Fenerbahce strolled in the last quarter to the first Euroleague triumph for a Turkish team, with its coach, Zeljko Obradovic winning his ninth Euroleague crown.

Among the new European champions there is a Greek player, Costas Sloukas, who on his name-day played for 24 minutes and scored three points in the final, to end up on the title-winning side.

Birch scored 14 points for Olympiakos and Nikola Milutinov added another 10.

The 1,700 Olympiakos fans were severely outnumbered at the stands by some 13,000 Turks, but at least there were no problems between rival fans reported.

Online