2001-02Top 16Round 3
March 21, 2002 CET: 00:00
Local time: 00:00 ZAVOD TIVOLI
Olympiakos played on the road in Ljubljana, Slovenia on Thursday but managed easily to retain its perfect record in Group G of the Top 16 by beating host Union Olimpija 66-75. As such, the Reds stand alone atop the group at 3-0, a victory ahead of Panthainiakos (2-1), which defeated AEK (1-2) back in Athens. Olimpija practically says goodbye to the Final Four after collecting its third loss in three games for all but mathematical elimination. Alphonso Ford was the main weapon for Olympiakos one more time, and his 27 points did plenty of damage to a defense that was unable to stop him. The guests were ahead from the opening minute but they only managed to pull away in the second period by 25-35, maintaining that difference until the end of the game. Ford was the only scorer in double figures for the winners, which fails to indicate how lethal the visitors' game in the paint was for Olimpija. James Forrest, Patrick Femmerling and Iñaki De Miguel combined for 22 inside points for the Reds. Jiri Welsch led Union Olimpija with 14 points, while Tunji Awojobi added 12 and Haris Mujezinovic 11.

The game began with some quick baskets and Ford already was leading his team on the offensive end, putting Olympiakos ahead 4-6 on a coast-to-coast basket. After that, Olympiakos was always ahead, but Olimpija had in Welsch and Awojobi the main pillars to stay in the game. The guests clearly showed more organization on the offensive end, however. The teams arrived at the end of the first quarter with a three-pointer by Ford putting his team ahead by five, the biggest lead up to that moment, 16-21.

The second quarter almost began in the same manner that the first had ended, as Ford hit another three. He was up to 15 points in only 11 minutes. Against that situation, there was little that Jure Zdovc could do, even if he had been put on court by coach Zmago Sagadin to stop the Red scorer. Union Olimpija's first timeout was called. But it had no effect as Ford followed with his scoring festival against the impotent host defense, and the guests hit an 0-8 run to jump ahead 16-26. Those 10 points looked almost impossible for Olimpija to overcome tonight, as they lost concentration when Ford took control and ruled. Welsch was the only man on the home side that seemed able to score to try to catch up to Olympiakos, but one man was not enough. At halftime, the 10-point gap was still there, 32-42.

The third quarter began with a Theodoros Papaloukas three-pointer reestablishing the double-digit lead at 34-45, but from there, Olimpija forged a 6-0 run that lit a bit of hope for the players and the fans of Ljubljana. The mirage vanished, however, when Forrest put his team back on track with another 0-6 run for a 40-51 lead. From that point, Olympiakos took definitive control of the duel and both teams seemed to wait for the final buzzer, as it was clear who would be the winner.

The last quarter was no big deal even though Ford decreased his scoring rhythm. Olimpija managed to cut the lead down to 58-66 with 4 minutes to go, but it was already too late. Olympiakos had dominated in every aspect of the game, especially rebounding (27-37) and Olimpija killed themselves with their poor free throw execution (14 of 22 against 11 of 13 by the Greeks). Another low point for the hosts was Beno Udrih's meager performance which totaled only 3 points at the midway point of the last quarter. In the end Olympiakos took home the nine-point win, 66-75.
Thursday, March 21, 2002
Ziga Bojc, Ljubljana
No results found.
Referees: MITJANA, JUAN CARLOS (ESP), LAMONICA, LUIGI (ITA), ZAMOJSKI, JAKUB (POL)
Attendance: 3400
By Quarter1234
Union Olimpija16161717
Olympiacos21212013
End of Quarter1234
Union Olimpija16324966
Olympiacos21426275
Union Olimpija
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 WELSCH, JIRI 26:27 14 3/5 1/1 5/6       2 1 1     5 3 11
5 GOLEMAC, JURICA 19:09 2 1/4 0/1 0/3 1 1 2 1     2 1 4 3 -2
6 ILIEVSKI, VLADO 25:04 9 3/4 1/1   1   1   3         2 14
9 UDRIH, BENO 23:36 6 2/2 0/5 2/2   1 1 3 2 2   1 1 2 5
10 ZDOVC, JURE 27:07 7 1/2 1/5 2/2 1 1 2 3   2 1   4 3 5
11 AWOJOBI, TUNJI FEMI 29:37 12 5/9 0/1 2/2   4 4   3 2 1   2 4 15
12 DAL, NEDIM 4:18   0/2     1 1 2     1   2 1   -4
13 MUJEZINOVIC, HARIS 26:56 11 3/5 0/3 5/7 1 3 4   2 1     4 7 12
14 HUKIC, JASMIN 17:46 5 1/2 1/2 0/2 3 3 6   1 2     3 2 5
Team                                
Totals 200:00 66 19/35 4/19 16/24 8 14 22 9 12 11 4 4 24 26 61
        54.3% 21.1% 66.7%
Head coach: SAGADIN, ZMAGOSLAV
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
Olympiacos
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 BOUNTOURIS, NIKOLAOS 13:32         1   1   1       2    
6 PAPALOUKAS, THEODOROS 31:57 9 2/5 1/1 2/2   6 6 6 1 2 1 1 3 5 19
8 SAVRASENKO, ALEKSEY 19:38 4 2/2     2 4 6     2 2   4 2 8
9 RISACHER, STEPHANE 12:28 5 2/3 0/2 1/1   2 2 1 2 1     3 2 5
10 FORD, ALPHONSO 35:50 27 8/12 2/4 5/6   6 6 2 1 4 1   2 5 29
11 TOMITS, MILAN 30:38 8 0/5 2/5 2/2       5       1 1 1 4
13 FEMERLING, PATRICK 17:51 6 2/5   2/2 1 4 5   1 2     4 3 6
14 FORREST, JAMES 15:57 9 4/7   1/2 1 2 3   1 2     3 1 5
15 DE MIGUEL, IGNACIO 22:09 7 2/4   3/4 4 3 7   2 3   2 4 5 9
Team                                
Totals 200:00 75 22/43 5/12 16/19 9 27 36 14 9 16 4 4 26 24 85
        51.2% 41.7% 84.2%
Head coach: SUBOTIC, LEFTERIS
This game has no play by play yet

Head Coaches

SAGADIN, ZMAGOSLAV
Union Olimpija
"Olympiakos demonstrated that they are one of the favorites, not only for the top position in our group, but to win it all. With players as good as they have and of course Ford, they can go really far. I can't criticize my boys because they did everything they could for an upset. We missed Stipe Modric on defense and Jurica Golemac did not play very well, but the rest did a good job. Our job now is to concentrate on the Final Four in the Adriatic League and hope we can reach the top there."
SUBOTIC, LEFTERIS
Olympiacos
"This game was crucial as I know how well Olimpija can play. On a good day you can beat anyone, even yourself. We played well on defense, except in the third period when we let up a little but we were always in control. I am very pleased with my players and hope that we can continue to play like this when we go to face Panathinaikos."

Players

WELSCH, JIRI
Union Olimpija
"We lost the game on defense and rebounds. It is impossible to beat Olympiakos without giving it your all on defense. I hope this game hasn't worn us out too much because in two days we will have another difficult game."
FORD, ALPHONSO
Olympiacos
"Although the scoreboard might tell a different story, it was not easy as Olimpija is a very good team and one not so easy to beat. We had to give our all. My performance I have to say was a result of the entire team playing well. If my teammates were not so good, I wouldn't be able to score as many points."
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