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Olympiakos red-hot favorite to make Final Four

By George Georgakopoulos

Olympiakos is on the verge of making the Final Four of the Euroleague in Istanbul after beating Siena 75-55 in Piraeus on Wednesday night in Game 3 of the quarterfinal playoffs.

Not only has Olympiakos taken a 2-1 lead, it will also enjoy the home advantage for Game 4 on Friday evening, and has proven it does not rely on one or two players but rather on the whole squad.

Coach Dusan Ivkovic’s super-tight defense saw the Reds transform their two-point lead at the end of the first period (14-12) into a 32-21 halftime score and an 18-point advantage after the third period (48-30), with Siena grabbing just nine points in each of the second and third quarters.

With the Reds' advantage stretching to as many as 29 points in the last period, the hosts slowed down ahead of the next game 48 hours later, but still did not concede any more than just 55 points throughout the match -- a remarkable result.

More importantly, Olympiakos managed to take in its stride both star forward Giorgos Printezis’s injury at the start of the game and what was a pretty bad night for its most expensive player, Vassilis Spanoulis, who only scored two points. It chalked up 15 points from Kyle Hines, 11 from Costas Sloukas and 10 from Acie Law.

The Reds also had a notable 49 rebounds against Siena's 29, demonstrating their terrific teamwork.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday March 29, 2012 (18:48)  
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