By Eurohoops team / [email protected]
Olympiacos used a second-half comeback to control visiting Zenit St Petersburg and grab a 75-61 victory in Round 29 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, their second in a row to improve to a 13-16 record.
Despite trailing by 11 points at halftime, the Reds bounced back with their own 24-15 run in the third period and trimmed the deficit to 2 points after 30 minutes. Vassilis Spanoulis stepped up for the hosts in their fourth-period run, leading all scorers of the team with 16 points and 3 rebounds.
Shaquielle McKissic added up 13 points for Giorgos Bartzokas’ squad and Sasha Vezenkov also had 13 points along with 4 rebounds.
“I tried to encourage the players to play with faith and without fear. Our response after the disastrous first quarter was great on defense – with just 33 points in the final three quarters and 20 points in the second half. We played really good defense compared to the first quarter and that gave us the confidence to shoot the ball well on offense and execute our game. It was a great effort by the players”, said Bartzokas after the win.
On the other end of the court, Zenit had Kevin Pangos posting 20 points and 7 assists, though his efforts weren’t enough to save the day for the Russian side, as they slipped their second straight game to fall to a 16-12 record. Despite leading the opening quarter 28-15, Xavi Pascual’s squad slowly ran out of energy in the second half, ending the game with just 5 points in the fourth period.
While Olympiacos is still far from the playoffs zone, this defeat could mean trouble for Zenit, which has also lost its Round 7 game against the Reds at home.
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