SPORTS

Triumph for Olympiakos at Barcelona

Olympiakos produced its best away performance so far this season to defeat host Barcelona 76-63 on Friday and snatch the home advantage in the Euroleague play-offs.

The Reds have now tied the series at 1-1 and are taking it to Piraeus for two games next week, expecting to win the best-of-five series in front of their own fans.

Olympiakos took the bull by its horns leading 15-10 after the first quarter and 35-25 after the second, as its defense strangled the Catalans while its three-pointer shooting (13/27 overall) left the hosts with no chance.

Led by a spectacular Giorgos Printezis (he scored 22 points and collected nine rebounds) and guided masterfully by coach Yiannis Sfairopoulos, Olympiakos was completely different to the team that had lost by 16 two days earlier at the same court and took its lead as high as 18 points (68-50) in the last period against a frustrated Barcelona.

Such was the impressive performance of the Greeks’ defense that it managed to contain the Barcelona attack to just 63 points against an average scoring rate of more than 83 points per game in the Euroleague before this Game 2 of the series.

Vassilis Spanoulis was also instrumental to Olympiakos’s win with 16 points and five assists, while Vangelis Mantzaris made four out of four three pointers! This was a game Olympiakos simply could not possibly lose.