Olympiacos reenforced its own Group A position and endangered that of a Euroleague classic when it blew away visiting Climamio Bologna 94-67 at home in Pireaus, Greece on Wednesday. Olympiacos improved to 7-2 and retains second place headed into 2007, while falls to 2-7 and continues sharing the basement with RheinEnergie Cologne. The Reds tooks big leads early and never looked back on their way to an easy victory. Alex Acker led five double-figure scorers for Olympiacos with 18 points. Giannis Bouroussis added 14, Manolis Papamakarios 13, Sofoklis Schortsianitis 11 in 10 minutes and Panagiotis Vasilopoulos 10 for the winners. Marko Belinelli poured in 21 points for Climamio, including his team's only 2 of 15 three-point attempts, while Tyus Edney followed with 16 points. James Thomas of Climamio registered a double-double of 11 points and 19 boards, his rebound total matching the fourth-most ever taken in a Euroleague game. The key stat of the game, however, was Olympiacos dishing 23 assists to just 4 for Climamio.
Edney, who wore the Reds' uniform just last season, was given a warm applause by Olympiacos fans, then he and Thomas found easy baskets in the paint to allow the guests to start the game 0-4. Olympiacos didn't wait to react, but rather took off on a 10-0 streak with baskets coming from Zizic, Domercant, Acker. Bouroussis had two, showing his fine form was continuing into this game. Both teams seemed unfocused on defense and the Reds managed to force Climamio into an up-tempo rhythm that proved an advantage for Olympiacos. Edney drove and scored, but again Acker added a pair of layups to make it 14-6. For each single Climamio basket, Olympiacos answered back with two or three. Bouroussis exploded for three consecutive layups, reaching 10 points in less than 7 minutes of play as the hosts rolled in front by 20-8. Zizic increased the margin with a nice hook before Thomas collected an offensive rebound and scored to make it 23-11. Edney added a pair of free but Olympiacos still owned a double-digit lead, 24-13, after one quarter.
Olympiacos big men Zizic and Bouroussis opened the second quarter with a jumper each as the lead rose to 28-13. Vasco Eftimov connected in the paint for Climamio as both teams continued to run the floor. But run-and-gun wasn't working for Climamio as its 6-for-20 shooting from the floor and 7 turnovers in 13 minutes showed. Bad decisions soon became an Olympiacos problem, too. The Reds did not score at all for more than 5 minutes, but Climamio didn't take advantage, although Eftimov got them within 28-18. Schortsianitis came off the bench then and dunked the first time he touched the ball, while Climamio used free throws to make it 30-21. Edney finished a fastbreak to get the guests even close, 30-23. After Ryan Stack chipped in a jumper for Olympiacos, Belinelli reacted with a basket-plus-free throw at 32-26. Schortsianitis from inside and Christos Charissis from behind the arc allowed Olympiacos to rebuild the difference within seconds, however, to 37-26. Once again, Climamio reacted with Thomas and Belinelli to stay within 37-29, but the half ended 41-31 in favor of Olympiacos.
Edney and David Bluthenthal tried to spark Climamio by making it 41-35 early in the third quarter. Vassilopoulos set the visitors straight then by scoring on a layup-plus-triple combination to restore a double-digit lead, 46-35. When Acker popped in a triple too, Olymiacos had run away again at 49-35. Vassilopoulos was unstoppable as he ran the floor to add a basket-plus-free throw at 52-36. Belinelli offered an offensive solution to Climamio, but Olympiacos kept firing the ball in anyway. Schortsianitis and Acker added points in the paint at 56-40 as the visitors connected only from the line. Olympiacos continued to feed Schortsianitis until scoreboard stood at 63-42. Acker drove from the baseline, Papamakarios nailed a triple and Olympiacos finished an incredible 15-0 run ahead by 71-42. Belinelli scored Climamio's first basket in almost 5 minutes with the visitors' first three-pointer of the game after 8 misses. The 30-point barrier was reached at 73-43 and Olympiacos held on for a 74-46 advantage after 30 minutes.. The final quarter offered no doubts about the eventual outcome. Belinelli connected for 5 consecutive points and Edney created a nice layup to allow Climamio a 0-7 run, while Papamakarios found an open jumper at 76-53. Both teams took the opportunity to play free basketball. Edney drove to the basket again and once again he was applauded by the fans. Stack chipped in another jumper at 82-59, while Papamakarios added another triple at 85-59. Thomas made it 85-61, but nothing was possible to change. The only question that was left to answer was whether Olympiacos could reach 100 points. Papamakarios connected for his third triple in as many attempts at 90-63 as Olympiacos sailed to an easy 94-67 win over visiting Climamio.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006