Olympiakos Knocks Off Malaga, 80-63

European basketball champion Olympiakos ran way from Unicaja Malaga for the fourth time this season, beating the Spanish team 80-63 to improve its chances of getting into the quarterfinals of this year’s championship.

Playing in Spain, Olympiakos won easily despite the absence of key player Giorgos Printezis and Stratos Perperoglou and improved its standing to 6- 6 in the Euroleague, far off its dominating run to win last year’s title.

The Reds led from start to finish, opening up with a 20-5 lead and kept the Spanish team at arm’s length the rest of the way, holding a 58-43 lead after three before running away with the win in the last quarter, led by sharpshooter Vassilis Spanoulis, who scored 20 points.

The Greek team shot a blistering 72 percent from the field on two-pointers and 37 percent from three-point land and played team ball, garnering 22 assists as players continually found the open man for easy shots.

Besides Spanoulis, Matt Lojeski had a good game with 18 points, while young Ioannis Papapetrou had eight. The next game for Olympiakos is in Istanbul next week to face last place Anadolu Efes, before the clash with arch-rival Panathinaikos in Piraeus in the last round of games for the second group stage of the competition.