2017-18Regular SeasonRound 16
January 05, 2018 CET: 20:00
Local time: 21:00 PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP STADIUM

Olympiacos escapes drama, downs Milan

Olympiacos Piraeus took control early and never looked back in an 87-80 win over visiting AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan on Friday night. Olympiacos got back into a tie for first place in the standings with 12-4 record, while Milan dropped for to 4-12, tied for the league’s worst record. The Reds opened a double digit lead in the first quarter, and a 13-2 second-quarter run helped the hosts open a 16-point lead. The margin was as big as 19 points in the second half, and Olympiacos kept control until Milan’s very late charge, but Olympiacos never allowed the visitors closer than 5 points. Kostas Papanikolaou had 15 points and 7 rebounds for Olympiacos, and rookie Kyle Wiltjer had his season-best also with 15 points. Vassilis Spanoulis paired 14 points and 7 assists, Ioannis Papapetrou scored 11 points, and Vangelis Mantzaris had 8 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in victory. Andrew Goudelock finished with 20 points, and Curtis Jerrells scored 15. In his first game for Milan, Mindaugas Kuzminskas registered 12 points. Kaleb Tarczewski also scored 12, and Vladimir Micov netted 11 in defeat.

Olympiacos nailed four triples in the first four and a half minutes. The first and last in that run came from Spanoulis, with one apiece from Mantzaris and Georgios Printezis in between to open a 14-6 margin. A fastbreak layup from Papanikolaou opened a double-digit lead before Jerrells hit Milan’s first three. Tarczewski scored inside for the visitors, but the Reds dominated offensive boards and Papapetrou finished a fastbreak with a dunk to increase the margin to 24-13. Jerrells and Kuzminskas, the latter with his first points in Milan uniform, cut the deficit to 26-17 at the end of the first, and the same two players cut the margin to 26-21 early in the second, but Wiltjer hit two and Papapetrou one triple, and Wiltjer scored a dunk and a reverse layup to push the margin to 39-23. Goudelock snapped a 13-2 run with a jumper, and Jerrells fed Tarczewski for a big dunk, but Milan did not manage to cut into the margin too much as the hosts held a 48-34 lead at halftime.

The teams traded punches after the break. Mantzaris hit a three-pointer that helped Olympiacos extend the lead to 55-37. After Jerrells hit a transition three on the other end, Papanikolaou and Jamel McLean kept the margin at 17 points. Micov had a pair of baskets, and after Papanikolaou and Jerrells traded triples, fastbreak baskets from Papanikolaou and Papapetrou made it 70-53 after three quarters. There were no baskets for almost 3 minutes in the fourth quarter until Wiltjer beat the shot-clock with a tough baseline jumper, opening up a 72-53 margin. The rhythm slowed down, and Milan trimmed the deficit to 74-60 with a three from Micov and a three-point play from Goudelock. Andrea Cinciarini and Kuzminskas combined for 6 points, and Goudelock nailed a three to get Milan to 77-69 with under 2 minutes to go. Goudelock hit two more triples before game’s end, but it was too little too late for Milan.

Kostas Papanikolaou - Olympiacos Piraeus - EB17
Friday, January 5, 2018
Euroleague.net
Referees: PEREZ PEREZ, MIGUEL (ESP), VOJINOVIC, MILIJA (SRB), PETEK, SASO (SLO)
Attendance: 6500 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Olympiacos Piraeus26222217
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan17171927
End of Quarter1234
Olympiacos Piraeus26487087
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan17345380
Olympiacos Piraeus
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
1 MCLEAN, JAMEL 17:51 6 2/6   2/2 3 2 5 1   2     3 2 5
4 TOLIOPOULOS, VASSILIS 14:47     0/3     2 2 4 1       2 2 4
6 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS 22:50 11 4/6 1/3     5 5   1 1     2 1 11
7 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 20:08 14 1/2 2/4 6/7   2 2 7 1 2     2 6 22
11 MILUTINOV, NIKOLA 9:10 8 2/5   4/4 1 2 3 1   1     1 2 9
13 STRELNIEKS, JANIS 6:53     0/1         1   1         -1
15 PRINTEZIS, GEORGIOS 18:23 7 2/4 1/1         1   2     1   3
16 PAPANIKOLAOU, KOSTAS 21:30 15 3/3 2/4 3/4   7 7 1   2     1 3 20
17 MANTZARIS, VANGELIS 27:26 8 0/2 2/4 2/4 1 4 5 6 2       3 4 16
31 BOGRIS, GEORGIOS 12:50 1 0/2   1/2   4 4 1         3 1 1
33 WILTJER, KYLE 16:24 15 3/4 2/4 3/4   1 1           3 2 11
34 THOMPSON, HOLLIS 11:48 2 1/1             1 1     3   -1
Team           3 3 6               6
Totals 200:00 87 18/35 10/24 21/27 8 32 40 23 6 12 0 0 24 23 106
        51.4% 41.7% 77.8%
Head coach: SFAIROPOULOS, IOANNIS
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 GOUDELOCK, ANDREW 22:08 20 4/8 3/8 3/3 1 1 2 2 2 1     3 4 17
5 MICOV, VLADIMIR 26:54 11 4/6 1/3     4 4 2         2 2 13
7 PASCOLO, DAVIDE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 KALNIETIS, MANTAS 13:06 3 1/3 0/2 1/2   1 1 2 2       1 1 3
15 TARCZEWSKI, KALEB 28:06 12 5/6   2/4 2 4 6     1     4 6 16
19 KUZMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS 23:49 12 4/7 0/2 4/8   1 1 1 1       2 6 10
20 CINCIARINI, ANDREA 13:52 2 1/3       3 3 2         3   2
22 CUSIN, MARCO 11:45   0/1     1 2 3   1 2     3 2  
23 ABASS, AWUDU 1:26                              
24 M'BAYE, AMATH 10:10   0/1 0/2   1 1 2               -1
25 THEODORE, JORDAN 20:55 5 2/4 0/2 1/2       1 1 1     3 2  
55 JERRELLS, CURTIS 27:49 15 3/5 3/5     3 3 4   3     2 1 14
Team           1 5 6               6
Totals 200:00 80 24/44 7/24 11/19 6 25 31 14 7 8 0 0 23 24 80
        54.5% 29.2% 57.9%
Head coach: PIANIGIANI, SIMONE

Head Coaches

SFAIROPOULOS, IOANNIS
Olympiacos Piraeus

"It was a very good game for us tonight. We were very concentrated and very consistent defensively. We allowed only 34 points in the first half to Milan, which is a very talented team and has very good offensive players. And I think we had the same performance in the second half, with very good cooperation offensively and defensively. After a Milan timeout at 74-56 in the 35th minute, we stopped playing good basketball and we were very static offensively. We did not move the ball, we did not execute well, and gave Milan a chance to cut down the difference with easy shots and layups. So, I think from one side, we did not deserve that period at the end, but on the other side, this period cannot hurt the good game that we had tonight. Most important is to understand that we need to fight for 40 minutes, and we got a small lesson without paying the price."

"We did not play well the last 5 minutes and it was not for the lack of energy but the lack of concentration. The players at that moment didn’t execute as we wanted, they thought the game was over and we did not move the ball well. But this cannot hurt a good performance of the team. We had a good performance for 35 minutes, and we played well in the last two minutes. It is a good lesson for the team that we cannot stop playing, and the game is only over after the final buzzer. Janis Strelnieks could not return to the game tonight, and that was a problem, as we missed two good guards, him and Brian Roberts. So, we did not have the flexibility to play with small lineup. But we found solutions. All the players got involved in the offense, and I am very happy for that."

PIANIGIANI, SIMONE
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
"Honestly, we did not play a good game tonight. In the first part of this EuroLeague we played at the same level for all the games except one, but tonight I think my players did not believe enough in the victory. Maybe a lot of them are thinking too much to recover their shape. We started soft on defense, and we made a lot of mistakes on offense where we missed open three-point shots and missed free throws. We have to perform in a different way if you want to have a chance to win in this court. It is not our best moment, we have to recover Guaditis and Bertans, and get Kuzminskas into the team who just arrived a day ago. That’s the moment we are in, and there is nothing more to say."

Players

WILTJER, KYLE
Olympiacos Piraeus
"We are just a very deep team, no matter who is down. We have gone through a lot injuries this year. It means we have to stay as a team. Milan is really a high-scoring team and we tried to make it tough on them with our defense. We had a good game overall, we kind of trailed off at the end, we can clean up some things but that’s what practices are for. So hopefully we just keep getting better. I was open, and my teammates got me the ball. We got some good point guards."
PAPANIKOLAOU, KOSTAS
Olympiacos Piraeus
"I think our defense tonight was very good. It gave us an opportunity to run a break and make some easy baskets, especially in the third quarter. But we have to keep playing until the end of the game because in the end we saw they had a good stretch, they came back and we did not finish the game as we wanted to finish. We have to be concentrated throughout the 40 minutes, and we have to keep improving."
KUZMINSKAS, MINDAUGAS
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
"I was a little rusty of course, because I didn't play a competitive game since the EuroBasket. Right now I think we have very good players, but we need to became a better team step by step."
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