Olympiacos rolls over Baskonia for payback win

By Eurohoops team / [email protected]

Olympiacos Piraeus routed Baskonia 75 – 50 at home to begin the EuroLeague season in an ideal fashion in front of the team’s fans who returned to Peace and Friendship arena after a one-year absence. It was the first win for the Reds over the Basque side after two losses in last season’s games.

Sasha Vezenkov was the top scorer of Olympiacos’ efforts with 16 points. He  had 12 of them in the first quarter where the Reds established their dominance by outplaying their opponents 28 – 13.

“It’s a little bit weird because last year we played without fans,” Vezenkov said in his post-game interview for EuroLeague TV when asked about the Olympiacos fans who were chanting his name after the end of the match. He, along with Moustapha Fall (13 points) and Kostas Sloukas (11 points, five assists) led an overall balanced offense for the hosts against which an injury-plagued Baskonia didn’t have an answer.

Baskonia traveled to Piraeus without Wade Baldwin and Alec Peters, two of its most important players, while Rokas Giedraitis was also coming off an injury. The latter scored a team-high 15 points and grabbed six rebounds but absence of the first two was quite noticeable since Dusko Ivanovic’s team was unable to respond to Olympiacos’ game and paid for the numerous mistakes (21 turnovers) and inefficiency on offense.

Olympiacos took a 47 – 18 lead near the end of the second half after Sloukas’ 300th career 3-pointer in EuroLeague while capitalizing on Baskonia’s turnovers (18 points off of them) and offensive rebounds (13 second-chance points).

Baskonia balanced the game a bit in the third period but couldn’t make any major comeback attempt. Matt Costello added 11 points plus nine rebounds for Baskonia in his EuroLeague debut.

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