ATHENS – Reeling after two losses to archrival Panathinaikos and to KAO Dramas in the Greek League, the European champion Olympiakos basketball team took it out on Fenerbahce, beating the Turkish team 95-82 at home on Jan. 3.
The Turkish team had former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic managing them from the bench but he didn’t offer any answers to the Reds onslaught in a high-scoring battle.
Olympiakos ran away to a 27-19 first quarter lead and kept a 47-40 edge at half behind sharpshooter Vassilis Spanoulis’ 16 points from long range.
The Turks went on an 11-2 run in the third to close the gap to only two, 58-56, and Olympiakos led only 62-56 heading into the final quarter.
As Fenerbahce tried to claw back into the game, Olympiakos’ other two gunners, Stratos Perperoglou and Matt Lojeski fired away with long bombs from three-point land that kept their team in the lead in a game that was crucial to the Euroleague group standings.
Spanoulis ended the game with 28 points, Perperoglou had 21 and Lojeski notched up 14 but Olympiakos was outrebounded again, as it was in its previous two losses, showing some concern for coach Giorgos Bartzokas.
Olympiakos didn’t play a new sign, former New York Knicks guard Mardy Collins, who saw on the bench all game. He was brought in to replace the injured Acie Law, the former Texas A & M star, who will be sidelined for the next month and a half.