Sloukas led the way for his road win in Piraeus

Nov 16, 2018 by Print
Sloukas led the way for his road win in Piraeus

A return to Piraeus is always emotional for Fenerbahce Istanbul's star guard Kostas Sloukas, who started his professional career with Olympiacos and helped it win back-to-back Turkish Airlines EuroLeague titles in 2012 and 2013. Several of his former teammates (Vangelis Mantzaris, Kostas Papanikolaou, Georgios Printezis and Vassilis Spanoulis) are still with the team. Sloukas, whose last EuroLeague appearance with Olympiacos was the 2015 championship game, joined Fenerbahce in 2015 and had lost in both of his previous trips to face the Reds at Peace and Friendship Stadium: 71-62 in December 2016 and 95-70 last February. Sloukas was held scoreless in that game, too.

This time, Sloukas made sure he and his team would finally get a road win against Olympiacos. Sloukas jumped out to a strong start, scoring 6 points in the first eight minutes to put Fenerbahce ahead 12-18. The game was a back-and-forth battle and when Nikola Milutinov's dunk gave Olympiacos a 69-67 lead in the next-to-last minute, Sloukas knew it was his moment. He drew a foul while shooting from downtown, hit all 3 free throws and when Olympiacos missed at the other end, he fired in a three-point shot to give Fenerbahce a 69-73 advantage with 1:07 remaining.

Olympiacos kept its chances open until the final seconds when it missed the game's last two shots and Fenerbahce prevailed 72-73. When the dust settled, Sloukas had been the best player on the floor, finishing the game with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a performance index rating of 22, hitting all of his 7 free throw attempts.

Fenerbahce head coach Zeljko Obradovic is not a fan of highlighting individual performances after the game, but made an exception this time. "I am very proud of my players, how they fought and how they played, especially Kostas Sloukas. He played today like the big leader of the team," Obradovic said.

Most important, Sloukas and Fenerbahce returned home with a prestigious road win - and a near-perfect 6-1 record.