Real Madrid 88, Olympiakos 71

Two-time defending Euroleague basketball champion Olympiakos faces Real Madrid again on April 17, down 1-0 after losing the opener.

Two-time defending Euroleague basketball champion Olympiakos faces Real Madrid again on April 17, down 1-0 after losing the opener of the best-of-five quarter-final series 88-71 off a listless performance.

The series was marred when the Spaniards essentially threw the last game of its group to the last place team Zalgiris Kaunas in Lithuania, which meant it would face Olympiakos instead of another Greek team, Panathinaikos

The Spanish team felt it was better matched against Olympiakos, believing the Greek team couldn’t defend Madrid’s fast-break style and it proved so in the opener.

Showing what was coming, the Spanish team jumped out to a 27-12 first quarter lead before Olympiakos rallied to a 40-40 tie before going down 48-41 at half time.

Real pulled away in the third period, stretching its advantage to as many as 17 points (66-49) to enter the last quarter with a 14-point lead, 70-56 as the defending champions threw in the towel. Captain Vassilis Spanoulis stood out with 18 points for the Reds.