Olympiakos will represent Greece in the Euroleague Final Four in Istanbul later this month as it came from 2-1 down to eliminate Anadolu Efes with a 3-2 score in the play-offs courtesy of its 87-78 victory on Tuesday in Piraeus.
Game 5 of the tournament’s closest pair was as breathtaking as the entire series, but the experience, home advantage and sheer quality of Olympiakos gave it the ticket to the competition’s showcase.
Both teams played to their maximum although Olympiakos was not as concentrated in defense over the first half as it usually is, trailing 41-37 at half-time.
A strong start to the third period (partial 9-2 score) gave the Greek champion the upper hand throughout the second half, as the numerous fouls Efes committed reduced its coach’s options as the game went on.
The depth of the Olympiakos roster made the difference, and it was Giorgos Printezis who gave the killer blow with a triple (83-74) 100 seconds from time to take the game beyond the Turkish team.
Vassilis Spanoulis was once again the leader of Olympiakos with 22 points and six assists, while Printezis added another 14.
The Final Four of the tournament is taking place on May 19-21 and Olympiakos will face holder CSKA Moscow in the second semifinal. Real Madrid will play Fenerbahce in the first one.