“It was our best offensive performance of the season” Pablo Laso
The Whites led through the whole game and added a 15th win in the EuroLeague. Impressive performances by Anthony Randolph and Gustavo Ayón contributed to the victory over the Reds, making up for the loss earlier in the season in Piraeus. Zach LeDay led the scoring for Olympiacos with 15 points.
Thursday night saw two of the heavyweights in the EuroLeague Real Madrid and Olympiacos clash at a brimming WiZink center.
The hosts were looking to win and go within 2 points from leaders Fenerbahce while the Greek team hoped to replicate their performance from last round’s win over Baskonia. A big blow for the visitors was the absence of talisman player Nikola Milutinov leading the league in rebounds.
Both teams came out of the blocks firing and exploited the three-point line. After two successful conversions from Gabriel Deck and Sergio Llull, visitors returned the favor through Nigel Williams-Goss and Vassilis Spanoulis and scored from behind the line as well. Felipe Reyes took center stage in the last moments of the first quarter after first working his way to the basket and then draining a 3-point-shot himself. Another 3-pointer from Facundo Campazzo led to the final score of the quarter being 28-23 for Real Madrid.
The second quarter began with the introduction of EuroLeague leader in blocks Walter Tavares. Both teams kept the high tempo from the first quarter and went point for point leaving defensive duties behind. Visitors head coach David Blatt was getting fired up on the touchline when his team trailed 54 to 41 with 2 minutes to go. His passion seemed to inspire the Greek team and particularly Georgio Printezis who managed to reduce the deficit to 54-46 at the break. Real Madrid spread points all across the roster while Olympiacos’ relied mainly on Spanoulis and Williams-Goss with 10 points each.
Just like the beginning of the game, Gabriel Deck started the action in the third quarter by a fabulous three-pointer. The Reds were on a mission to get back into the game and managed to get a few buckets through an inspired LeDay. Meanwhile, Gustavo Ayón was dominant for the home team with 6 rebounds and a few easy layups. He added an assist as well when he found Campazzo in acres of space at the 3-point-line and the Argentinian did not disappoint. Both teams switched to a more solid defensive play and gave the crowd a breather. The quarter ended 72-63 with everything to play for in the final 10 minutes.
Olympiacos really went for it in the fourth quarter which in turn left space for the Whites. Taking advantage of a recovery, Randolph lifted the crowd with a two-hand slam. Reds responded quickly through a fantastic three-pointer from Williams-Goss. Cabo Verde center Tavares proved his importance to Madrid once again after freeing space for his teammates Randolph and Campazzo and allowing Real Madrid to get an even bigger lead. It was all decided with 2 minutes to spare. Final score 94-78.
Real Madrid: Sergio Llull, Jeffrey Taylor, Gabriel Deck, Anthony Randolph, Gustavo Ayón
Olympiacos: Vassilis Spanoulis, Nigel Williams-Goss, Kostas Papanikolaou, Georgios Printezis, Vangelis Mantzaris