Holder Olympiakos took the first step toward advancing to the Final Four of the Euroleague by beating Anadolu Efes 67-62 in a tight game on Wednesday in Piraeus.
Victory in Game 1 means Olympiakos needs two more wins in the best-of-five quarterfinal series to make the trip to London so as to defend its European title. Game 2 is also taking place in Piraeus, on Friday.
Efes challenged the Greeks all the way and led on several occasions in the game, but Olympiakos showed the necessary composure in the last period to clinch this precious win.
Led by Giorgos Printezis who scored a Euroleague career record of 26 points, Olympiakos ended the first half on top (33-32) having let slip a seven-point advantage (31-24) earlier.
Efes had a strong start to the second half to lead by three (36-33) but its terrible shooting rate outside the 6.75-meter line (one out of 19) had them trail Olympiakos again (50-44).
Some decisive shots by Kyle Hines and Costas Papanikolaou took the game beyond the Turks, who could not come back from 62-56 down.