BASKETBALL

Reds beat Monaco to reach the Euroleague Final Four

Reds beat Monaco to reach the Euroleague Final Four

Olympiakos came from behind to beat Monaco in Piraeus on Wednesday and snatch the last ticket to the Euroleague Final Four.

The Reds won 94-88 to take the best-of-five series 3-2 in front of a raving capacity crowd at the Peace and Friendship Stadium.

After a cautious first quarter that ended 13-11 in the visitors’ favor, a run-and-gun quarter followed with 65 points between the two teams and Monaco going into the locker room seven points ahead (48-41).

The Monegasques may have stretched their lead up to 11 points in the second period, but Olympiakos had already started its comeback, through a series of long-range shots and a number of Monaco turnovers.

The Greeks grabbed the lead for the first time four minutes before the end of Q3 (56-55) but quickly surrendered it, with Monaco restoring a four-point advantage by the end of the period (70-66).

That was when the home pressure started making the difference: Olympiakos turned things around once again to lead by six (89-83) with less than three minutes to go, and there was no way back for Monaco then.

Shaquielle McKissic paced the Reds with 18 points, Thomas Walkup made 17 and Tyler Dorsey had 16.

A long four years of waiting are therefore over, as Olympiakos will be present at the Final Four in Belgrade later this month (May 19-21).