SPORTS

Barcelona proved too strong for Olympiakos

Barcelona got the better of Olympiakos on Thursday in Piraeus winning 90-77 as it proved to be a class apart on the night.

This loss means Olympiakos has very few hopes left of clinching a spot in the top two of its Euroleague group, but is still a favorite for advancing as third or fourth to the knockout stages of the competition, having six wins in 10 games.

The Reds had two good quarters, the first and the third, but had serious problems against a superior side for the rest of the game despite playing in front of a capacity crowd of Olympiakos fans at the Peace and Friendship Stadium.

Olympiakos’s defense let coach Giorgos Bartzokas down as there were times it simply could not contain the Spanish, while the hosts’ insistence on trying three-point shots in what was a bad night for them outside the 6.75-meter line took their record to just two out of 17 shots.

The first quarter ended with Olympiakos ahead (20-17), but Barcelona stormed back in the second scoring 29 points, to reach half-time with a 10-point lead (46-36).

The Greeks led for the last time one minute before the end of the third quarter (60-59). Barcelona put its collective foot on the gas then and stretched its lead up to 17 points (90-73) just before the end.

Vassilis Spanoulis was the game’s top scorer with 23 points, while Josh Powell had another good game for the Reds with 15 points making seven out of eight. Giorgos Printezis notched up 16 points.