Olympiacos sealed its ticket to the Top 16 from Group B and stopped Armani Jeans from advancing to the next round with a 75-84 road win in Milano on Thursday. Olympiacos raised its record to 7-7 to finish fifth in Group B while Armani Jeans finished with 5-9 record tied with Prokom Trefl for the seventh place in the standings. Tyus Edney led the way for Olympiacos with 17 points and 9 assists. Renaldas Seibutis added 15 points on 3 of 3 triples, Quincy Lewis had 13, Sofoklis Schortisianitis 12 and Panagiotis Vasilopoulos 11. Preston Shumpert led all the scorers with 26 points on 8 of 9 two-pointers. Joseph Blair added 14 points with 9 rebounds for Milano, and Giacomo Galanda had 11. Vasilopoulos, Schortsianitis and an outstanding Lewis led the way for Olympiacos in the final period, allowing the guests to get full control of the game in the final minutes.
Mario Gigena opened the scoring from downtown and Blair made free throws to launch Milano ahead 5-0, but Edney hit a mid-range jumper that Manolis Papamakarios followed with a triple for a 5-5 tie. Dante Calabria put the hosts back in charge, but Lewis buried a triple and Edney increased the cushion to 7-10 with a pull-up jumper. Milano went scoreless for 3 minutes until Blair made 2 more from the foul line. Nikos Barlos netted a triple, but Shumpert simply took over with 8 consecutive points that boosted Milano to a 17-14 lead after 7 minutes. Edney made free throws but Shumpert continued his amazing shooting performance with another triple to make it 20-16. After Galanda nailed another triple and Edney responded with an acrobatic driving layup while Tyrone Grant fixed a 24-19 score at the end of an intense first quarter.
Zizic, Edney and Georgios Printezis struggled from the foul line for the visitors, scoring just 3 of 6 attempts early in the second quarter. Olympiacos switched to fullcourt pressure, but Shumpert broke 2 scoreless minutes for Milano with a short jumper that gave the hosts a 26-22 lead. Schortsianitis stepped up with a three-point-play but Shumpert was simply unstoppable. He took over with back-to-back baskets to fuel the hosts margin to 30-25. The battle now took place near the baskets, as Schortsianits scored 3 free throws and Blair dunked it to finish a fastbreak assisted by Massimo Bulleri. Grant pushed Milano on 34-28, as the game turned into an intense fight with both teams missing open shots late in this period. Nothing changed until the break, as Milano kept a 34-28 halftime margin.
Sven Schultze opened the second half with a free throw, but Seibutis answered from downtown and even when Blair took over with an atonishing dunk, Printezis chipped in back-to-back layups to get Olympiacos closer, 37-35, after 22 minutes. Printezis and Blair exchanged tip-ins, while Seibutis posted three consecutive free throws to tie the score at 40-40. Defenses prevailed now and it was hard for both teams to find open shots. Bulleri and Shumpert combined for 4 quick points for a 44-40 Milano margin, as Olympiacos called timeout. Milano came back on court with a different attitude, as Gigena drew a charge and Alejandro Montecchia beat the clock with a driving basket to keep a 46-42 lead. Vasilopoulos and Seibutis stepped up with quick points once Blair and Shumpert, then Edney tied it at 48-48. Bulleri fired in a triple but Seibutis answered with a corner three for a 51-51 tie at the end of the third quarter.
Vasilopoulos poured in a triple but Galanda copied him from the corner. Lewis stepped up with a mid-range jumper and Vasilopoulos added a free throw for a 54-47 Olympiacos edge. Calabria and Galanda tried to change things for Milano, but Seibutis hit one from downtown and Schortsianitis added a basket-plus-foul to keep the guests ahead, 58-63. Shumpert and Lewis scored from mid range and Blair dunked it to bring Milano within 62-65. It didn't last long, as Edney fed Schortsianitis for an easy layup while Lewis pushed his team's lead to 62-70. Milano could not find answers in offense while Vasilopoulos hit a critical three for a 62-73 Olympiacos margin with 2 minutes to go. Galanda hit a quick triple, Bulleri made free throws and Shumpert found an easy layup to fuel the hosts' hopes, 69-75. Printezis missed 4 attempts from the foul line and Shumpert brought Milano within 71-75 with 1:05 left. Printezis and Vassilopoulos made 2 free throws apiece, and even when Calabria hit a three, Seibutis and Lewis sealed a well-deserved Olympiacos win from the foul line.
Thursday, February 9, 2006