CONSTANTINOPLE – When Olympiacos Piraeus arrives for its sixth Final Four in the past nine years, it will do so in a city – Istanbul – where it has made the best of memories. Sinan Erdem Dome, site of Final Four games, is where Olympiacos authored a spectacular comeback in the 2012 championship game to beat CSKA Moscow in the closing seconds for the first of its historic, back-to-back EuroLeague titles. This season, the Reds already survived a must-win game in the city to overcome Anadolu Efes Istanbul in Game 4 of their playoff series before taking Game 5 at home.
The path that leads to challenging for a European crown is by now a very familiar one for this team. Vassilis Spanoulis and Georgios Printezis – the two players who hooked up on the title-winning basket in 2012 – highlight a roster that has four former EuroLeague champions and three more players who partook in the team’s 2015 championship game loss to Real Madrid in the Spanish capital. As such, Coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos came into this season knowing he had a squad with the experience to go far.
The Reds’ recipe for success is no secret: elite defense. With newcomers who bought into the team’s defensive work ethic, Olympiacos allowed its opponents the lowest average performance index rating and two-point shooting accuracy, fewest assists and second-fewest points in the EuroLeague this season.
Read more at Euroleague.net