SPORTS

Olympiakos lets win over Siena slip through its fingers

Montepaschi Siena snatched victory right from Olympiakos’s hands right at the end of an exciting game in Piraeus, as the 74-72 result signaled the Reds’ third loss in four top-16 games in the Euroleague on Friday.

This has seriously dented the European champion’s hopes for a top-two finish in the group, that secures home advantage in the all-important playoff stage, but the target of finishing among the top four of the eight-team group so as to qualify remains very attainable for the Greeks.

The match at the Peace and Friendship Stadium had the two teams neck-and-neck throughout the 40 minutes, with the Reds scoring 25 points in the first quarter (25-20) but then dropping to just 11 in the second, for a first-half score of 38-36 in the Italians’ favor.

The visitors seemed to succumb to their hosts’ might as the second half went on, and with less than a minute left Olympiakos seemed destined for victory leading 72-67.

It was not meant to be on the night: Poor defending and complacent shooting saw the Greek team surrender its lead, as both Kyle Hines and Acie Law failed to make two easy lay-ups, and Siena snatched the game with two points less than two seconds from the end.

Hines and Vassilis Spanoulis scored 13 points each for the Reds, with Bobby Brown stealing the show for the Italian team with 22.