Baskonia grabs rare road win in Pireaus
TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz recorded a valuable road win by downing Olympiacos Piraeus 76-90 on Thursday. Baskonia improved to 5-5 in the standings and beat Olympiacos on the road for the first time since 2007, while the Reds dropped to 5-4 with their third home loss this season. Zoran Dragic led the winners with 18 points, Pierria Henry added 17 points and 11 assists, Alex Peters scored 16 and Achille Polonara 14 for Baskonia, which led 31-47 at halftime and never looked back. Georgios Printezis and Kostas Sloukas paced Olympiacos with 15 points apiece. The Reds also got 12 points each from Hassan Martin and Shaquielle McKissic.
Youssoupha Fall got Baskonia going with a tip-in, but Printezis quickly gave Olympiacos a 5-2 lead. Rokas Giedraitis and Luca Vildoza each struck from downtown to give Baskonia regain a 5-8 edge. Sloukas and Giannoulis Larentzaris joined the three-point shootout, but Vildoza and an unstoppable Fall restored an 11-15 Baskonia lead. Martin sank a jump hook, but Peters struck from beyond the arc and added a three-point play to give the visitors a 15-23 lead after 10 minutes. Henry capped a 0-8 run with a jumper that made it a double-digit game, 15-25, early in the second quarter. Printezis stepped up with a put-back basket, but Dragic and Polonara each buried a three-pointer in another 0-8 run that broke the game open, 17-33. Kostas Papanikolaou and McKissic tried to ignite the Reds' comeback, but Polonara and Dragic kept Baskonia way ahead, 21-38. Jekiri dunked and Polonara insisted from downtown to make it 21-43. Three-pointers by Papanikolaou and Larentzakis brought Olympiacos closer, 31-47, at halftime.
Henry took over with a driving layup soon after the break, but Printezis answered with a close basket and a couple of jumpers to make it 37-49. Sloukas capped an 8-0 run with a layup, but Henry gave Baskonia fresh air at 39-53. McKissic ignited his team's bench with a wild three-point play and Martin got the Reds within single digits, 44-53. Henry kept pacing the visitors, getting help from Dragic and Peters to restore a 49-62 Baskonia margin. Henry downed a three-pointer and Dragic scored again, but Vassilis Spanoulis, McKissic and Printezis drew Olympiacos within 58-67 after 30 minutes. Peters and Henry prompted Olympiacos to call timeout at 60-71 early in the fourth quarter. Dragic and Giedraitis each struck from downtown to seal the outcome, 60-77, with 6 minutes left. Olympiacos kept trying, but only managed to get closer when the outcome was clear.
Pierria Henry controlled the game rhythm, pushing Baskonia to run the floor as much as possible. He finished the game with 17 points on 5-of-8 two-point shooting, made his 2 three-point shots and added 6 rebounds, 11 assists and 3 steals for a PIR of 24.
Alec Peters came off the bench and made the difference in the game, scoring 8 points in a 2-16 run that bridged the two opening quarters in which Zoran Dragic and Achille Polonara each hit a three-pointer. Baskonia took a 17-33 lead, extended it to 21-43, and never looked back.
Baskonia took off in an outstanding first half in which the visitors made 12 of 16 two-pointers (75%), 6 of 10 shots from beyond the arc (60%) and outrebounded Olympiacos 11-18. The PIR difference at halftime said it all: Olympiacos 20 - Baskonia 69.
Did you know?
Baskonia snapped a 15-game road losing streak against Olympiacos. Its previous win at Peace and Friendship Stadium came on April 5, 2007, in Game 2 of the playoffs. Baskonia beat Olympiacos 89-95 behind 20 points from Luis Scola and qualified for the 2007 Final Four.
Both teams return to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague action next week. Olympiacos visits CSKA Moscow on Thursday, December 3 in a rematch of the 2012 EuroLeague championship game. CSKA center Nikola Milutinov faces his former team for the first time since leaving the Reds. Two more CSKA players, Janis Strelnieks and Daniel Hackett, also played for Olympiacos in the past. Baskonia faces Anadolu Efes Istanbul at Sinan Erdem Sports Hall on Friday, December 4. Peters played for Efes last season and three Efes players - Shane Larkin, Rodrigue Beaubois and Tibor Pleiss - have played for Baskonia in the past, too.
Thursday, November 26, 2020