2017-18PlayoffsGame 1
April 18, 2018 CET: 20:15
Local time: 21:15 PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP STADIUM

Zalgiris roars back to win instant classic in overtime

For its historic first EuroLeague Payoffs victory this century, Zalgiris Kaunas launched a spectacular comeback to earn a famous 78-87 road win over Olympiacos Piraeus in an exceptionally hard-fought and intense overtime thriller on Friday at the Peace and Friendship Stadium. Olympiacos flew to an early 23-8 lead but Zalgiris gathered its composure to fight back, briefly taking the lead on four occasions but never able to move clear. A three-pointer from Vassilis Spanoulis forced overtime but the visiting team dominated the extra period, finally surging to victory behind a spectacular Brandon Davies, who combined 21 points with 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. There was also a big contribution from Kevin Pangos, with 20 points and 6 assists, while Arturas Milaknis made 4 three-pointers in his total of 16 points. The home team was paced by 21 points – including 5 triples – and 9 assists from Spanoulis, with Georgios Printezis adding 12 points and Ioannis Papapetrou scoring 11. The teams meet again in Piraeus on Friday for Game 2.

Defenses were on top early on, before back-to-back layups from Brian Roberts and Spanoulis gave Olympiacos its first lead. A triple from Papapetrou capped a 7-0 run before Davies scored a tough layup. A long two from Spanoulis, a dunk from Papapetrou and Nikola Milutinov's close-range finish extended the lead, before Davies netted again from mid-range. Kim Tillie hit a corner three and Spanoulis made a steal to score for a 20-8 edge. Vangelis Mantzaris added a three-point play, before Zalgiris free throws made it 23-12 at the end of the first. Milaknis opened the second quarter scoring from close range, and Vasilije Micic drove to layup for a 0-8 run. Printezis scored twice in quick succession to restart Olympiacos, but Pangos hit a triple to reduce the deficit to 27-21. Printezis hit another shot but a Milaknis three-pointer maintained Zalgiris's charge. Beno Udrih's jumper made it a one-possession game, and a triple from Aaron White briefly tied the game before Spanoulis nailed a pair of clutch triples for a 38-32 halftime lead.

Davies laid up at the start of the second half before Spanoulis and Pangos exchanged triples, then Milutinov and Micic did likewise from close range. Roberts and Micic traded two-pointers, and Zalgiris went ahead, 45-46, when Pangos struck another triple and Davies converted an offensive rebound. Roberts split free throws to tie it and Mantzaris restored his team's lead from deep, followed by Spanoulis nailing his fourth triple. Printezis added a fastbreak layup to complete a 9-0 charge for a 54-46 edge, but Zalgiris came right back again with free throws and a corner three from White, and the third quarter finished perfectly poised at 56-53. Pangos made it a one-point game with a jumper, before Jankunas blocked a shot at one end and laid up at the other for the lead. Again the advantage was short-lived, though, as Mantzaris connected from deep, and an unsportsmanlike foul on Davies allowed Jamel McLean to stretch the lead with 4 free throws. Milaknis made another triple before a tense scoreless phase, ended by Papapetrou's floater for 65-60 with 5 minutes remaining. Pangos tipped in an offensive rebound and one, and an unsportsmanlike foul on McLean saw Milaknis tie the game from the foul line before Micic split free throws for a 65-66 edge. Spanoulis then made foul shots to send the home team back in front, and a long two-pointer from Papapetrou extended the lead. But Davies scored from an offensive rebound, Edgaras Ulanovas split free throws to tie it at 69-69 with a minute to play, and Milaknis made a corner three for another Zalgiris advantage. But Spanoulis struck another triple to tie it, forcing overtime.

Papapetrou opened the extra period's scoring but Milaknis responded with his fourth triple, and Pangos made it 74-77 with a mid-range jumper. Printezis narrowed the gap with a layup, but Ulanovas nailed a key triple for a two-possession lead. Pangos added free throws to make it 76-82 with 100 seconds remaining, before Spanoulis made it closer from the foul line. Jankunas floated in a tough left-handed shot, Spanoulis missed a triple and Davies scored a layup and one to seal the deal to the jubilation of the visiting bench.

Brandon Davies - Zalgiris Kaunas - EB17
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Euroleague.net
Referees: LOTTERMOSER, ROBERT (GER), PEREZ PEREZ, MIGUEL (ESP), PASTUSIAK, PIOTR (POL)
Attendance: 11039 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234Extra 1
Olympiacos Piraeus231518166
Zalgiris Kaunas1220211915
End of Quarter1234Extra 1
Olympiacos Piraeus2338567278
Zalgiris Kaunas1232537287
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 21:43 6 1/3   4/6 1 5 6     1 1 1 3 5 9
3 BROWN, BOBBY 4:41     0/1                       -1
6 PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS 38:20 11 4/8 1/4   5 2 7     1   3 3 1 5
7 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 37:03 25 3/6 5/12 4/6   2 2 9 1 6   1 3 5 20
11 MILUTINOV, NIKOLA 20:53 7 3/3   1/2 2 6 8 1   2     1 1 13
13 STRELNIEKS, JANIS 12:08   0/1           1         2   -2
14 TILLIE, KIM 17:46 3 0/1 1/1   1 1 2   1       4 1 2
15 PRINTEZIS, GEORGIOS 26:52 12 5/10 0/1 2/4 2 3 5 1   4 2 2 2 5 9
17 MANTZARIS, VANGELIS 27:32 9 1/3 2/4 1/1   3 3 2 2 1   1 4 2 8
22 ROBERTS, BRIAN 13:27 5 2/3 0/1 1/2   1 1           3 1 1
33 WILTJER, KYLE DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
34 THOMPSON, HOLLIS 4:35     0/1                       -1
Team           1 5 6     1         5
Totals 225:00 78 19/38 9/25 13/21 12 28 40 14 4 16 3 8 25 21 68
        50% 36% 61.9%
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
Zalgiris Kaunas
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
0 DAVIES, BRANDON 34:02 21 8/15   5/5 6 2 8 1 1 1 3 1 3 4 26
3 PANGOS, KEVIN 29:34 20 3/7 3/7 5/5 1 2 3 6       1 2 5 23
6 TOUPANE, AXEL 7:34                   1     1   -2
9 UDRIH, BENO 14:34 4 2/5   0/2   3 3   1 1       1 3
13 JANKUNAS, PAULIUS 32:12 4 2/7     3 4 7   2 2 2   1 5 12
19 SAJUS, MARTYNAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
21 MILAKNIS, ARTURAS 30:53 16 1/1 4/10 2/2   1 1 1 1 1     1 2 13
22 MICIC, VASILIJE 20:37 7 3/8 0/1 1/2 1 4 5 1 2     1 2 3 8
30 WHITE, AARON 13:51 8   2/2 2/2 1 3 4 1     1   4 1 11
44 KAVALIAUSKAS, ANTANAS 9:32 2 0/2   2/2 1 2 3   1   1   4 1 2
66 VALINSKAS, PAULIUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
92 ULANOVAS, EDGARAS 32:11 5 0/3 1/2 2/4   3 3 4   1 1   3 3 6
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 225:00 87 19/48 10/22 19/24 14 26 40 14 8 7 8 3 21 25 105
        39.6% 45.5% 79.2%
Head coach: JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS

Head Coaches

SFAIROPOULOS, IOANNIS
Olympiacos Piraeus
“Today we lost home court advantage. It was a close game that finished in overtime and when the game finishes like this both teams could have won. For sure, we have to fight on Friday to win the second game, and go to Kaunas to fight for the next two games and finish the series. We had some players that are not in their best shape or best condition after injuries, and this hurt our game.”
JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS
Zalgiris Kaunas

“I hope we can continue knowing how to act in this atmosphere. In the second half we were more calm and composed, we did the details better. We must watch the game again because we didn’t do everything, or even close to what we can do. We have to stay humble because we are playing against the team with the most character in the last five years in European basketball, so we must be ready.”

“On Friday they will be a better Olympiacos, more determined, and we must be ready for that. We must be very ambitious and try to take Game 2. We understand the situation Olympiacos is in, they’re missing some players. Some players coming back like Printezis showed a lack of rhythm, but we all know he’ll be better in Game 2. There’s no reason we’ve beaten Olympiacos three times this season. It’s all about one game at a time, one possession at a time, we understand who we’re facing. You cannot look two weeks ahead in this profession. Our future is tomorrow’s practice. That’s not even a cliché, it’s the biggest truth about our profession: only tomorrow exists.”

Players

MCLEAN, JAMEL
Olympiacos Piraeus
“We had a lot nervous moments, we turned the ball over and they capitalized on that. We have to do better, take care of the ball better and focus on playing a solid game for 40 minutes. We have to go home, rest, forget about the first game, because it is a long series, watch our mistakes and come ready to play on Friday.”
PAPAPETROU, IOANNIS
Olympiacos Piraeus
“It was a tough game. We knew that Zalgiris would come here and fight for the win. Unfortunately, we lost home-court advantage. At this moment I am unable to analyze the game and explain what went wrong. We should play harder and not allow Zalgiris to score from open three-points shoots. The next game is crucial for us and we have to win it no matter what. We must be ready for the Game 2. We can’t sit around and cry for what happened. We have to look forward. That’s how it goes in basketball.”
DAVIES, BRANDON
Zalgiris Kaunas
“It took everyone from the point guard to the bench, it was a grind out there and we had to fight all game long. Against a good team that’s all you can do. Now we’ve got to think of it as 0-0. They are too good a team for us to celebrate one win, we’ve got to get a good day’s rest and get ready to try to get another one.”