Mantzaris spares Reds’ blushes against Zielona Gora

A buzzer-beating three-pointer by Vangelis Mantzaris offered a complacent Olympiakos a 79-77 victory over surprisingly strong Zielona Gora in Piraeus to preserve the Reds’ unbeaten Euroleague record on Friday.

The Polish team arrived in Greece with just one win in four games, but came within one second from a famous victory over the European champion as it dominated the game at the Peace and Friendship Stadium against an Olympiakos who was a shadow of its usual self this season.

Zielona Gora (which is Polish for Green Mountain) led by up to 11 points in several instances during the game and silenced the home crowd with its excellent rate in three-pointers, its tight zone defense and its numerous offensive rebounds.

However Olympiakos made its experience count in the end, as it came from eight points down (63-55) with consecutive three-pointers by Matt Lojeski, Giorgos Printezis and Vassilis Spanoulis to lead 72-70 and then 76-74.

Christian Eyenga thought he had won the game for the Polish visitors with his three-pointer 2.5 seconds from time (77-76), but Mantzaris managed to redeem his team from the 6.75-meter line in the very last second of the game.

Printezis was Olympiakos’s top scorer with 21 points while Spanoulis notched up 18.

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