Kostas Sloukas Olympiacos
Photo: Euroleague Basketball

After a close, intense match that went to overtime, Olympiacos survived in Tel Aviv and grabbed the win against Maccabi, 87-89 on Tuesday night (12/1). With Larentzakis coming off the bench and scoring a career high in the Euroleague and Vassilis Spanoulis only playing for 5 minutes, Olympiacos survived and returns to Piraeus with a much needed win. Maccabi saw the lead the had, in most of the time, vanish and lost another match in such a short difference.

Kostas Sloukas was for another match the top scorer for Olympiacos with 21 points and 11 assists, while Giannoulis Larentzakis completed his career-high night in the Euroleague with 13 points. For the hosts, Scottie Wilbekin had 25 points while Elijah Bryant added another 15.

The Match

With both teams starting aggressively on defense, Maccabi opened the score in the first quarter with two points from Bryant, while Olympiacos committed their second turnover in just 2 minutes of play (2-0). After 4 minutes of play and several turnovers, Olympiacos registered their first points of the match with the step back two pointer from Charalampopoulos (2-2). Zizic on the other end completed a three point play for Maccabi giving the hosts a 3-point lead (5-2). Wilbekin from deep scored his first points of the match, extending his team’s lead to 6 points (8-2). Printezis scored 4 personal points for Olympiacos to make the score 10-6, while Wilbekin scored two free throws to retain their 6-point lead (12-6). The American guard was on fire from the very first minutes of the match, scoring his second triple (15-8) with Caloiaro adding two more (17-8). Printezis was leading Olympiacos in the first minutes of the match, scoring his first triple and bringing back the reds within 5 points. Charalampopoulos went to 4 points in the match, scoring two more for Olympiacos making the score 16-13. Defense was dominant in both ends of the court with Maccabi ending the first quarter leading by five points (18-13).

Jones with the bullet pass in the second quarter, gave Jones the chance to score two easy points for Maccabi (20-14) with Caloiaro adding two more after an excellent pass from Zizic (22-14). Bryant gave Maccabi their largest lead of the match with nine points after scoring his first triple (25-16) while McKissic took it down to 7 from the free throw line (25-18) to add another two points later with the strong drive and register two free throws too (27-22). Chris Jones punished Olympiacos’ defense with his first triple of the night taking the lead back to 8 points right before Sloukas and Hassan Martin cooperate to add 2 more points for Olympiacos with the alley-hoop (30-24). Casspi missed a pair of free throws but Olympiacos’ Hassan Martin committed his second foul with Maccabi not taking advantage of it. Printezis was sent to the free throw line but missed both giving Maccabi the chance to score with Zizic (32-24). Ellis with the reverse layup added two more points for Olympiacos, scoring his first two in the match (32-26), with Kostas Sloukas adding two more (34-28). Wilbekin scored the triple but Sloukas was fouled by Dorsey giving his the chance for three free throws (37-31). An open three point shot from Dorsey, extended Maccabi’s lead to 9 points with Printezis committing a turnover on the other end of the court, giving Maccabi the chance to get to double digits. Maccabi couldn’t extended their lead just yet with Olympiacos adding two more points and the two teams heading to the locker rooms with Olympiacos trailing by 7 (40-33).

Photo: Maccabi Tel Aviv

Maccabi opened the second half with a turnover from Wilbekin, giving Ellis the chance to score two easy points for the guests (40-35). With another turnover from Maccabi and Casspi, Olympiacos grabbed the opportunity given and took the difference down to three points with two free throws from Jean-Charles (40-37). Charalampopoulos missed the chance to tie the game but Olympiacos with another steal tied the game with Kostas Sloukas (40-40). Zizic stopped Olympiacos’ run (42-40) but Jean-Charles was there to tie the game once more. Unsportsmanlike foul from Ellis, gave Maccabi the chance to extend their lead to 4 points (46-42) and to 6 later on with Othelo Hunter (48-42). Massive block from Bryant, rejecting Kostas Sloukas saved the possession for Maccabi. Kostas Sloukas went to the free throw line later on, scored two easy points and made the score 48-44, with four minutes, until the end of the quarter, remaining. McKissic added two more free throws for Olympiacos to bring the guests back within two points (48-46). Kostas Sloukas gave Olympiacos their first lead of the game with a triple (48-49) with Dorsey making the shot clock violation thanks to Olympiacos’ defense. Offensive foul on Jean-Charles gave Maccabi the possession back, trailing by 1, with Bryant scoring the floater (50-49). Pretty reversed layup from Dorsey brought Maccabi back by 2 but Larentzakis squared things up for Olympiacos (52-52). Maccabi managed to score 3 consecutive points and ended the third quarter, leading by three (55-52).

With the fourth quarter underway, Larentzakis added two more points for Olympiacos bringing his team back within one point (55-54), while Tyler Dorsey on the other end of the court committed another turnover. Olympiacos grabbed the opportunity given with Hassan Martin, and got back leading the score with one points (55-56). The guests strengthened their defense and got two more points from Sloukas and a three point lead (55-58). Bryant stopped Olympiacos’ run, (57-58), but Caloiaro travelled to give Olympiacos’ the possession who scored with Kostas Sloukas (57-60). Wilbekin scored two free throws for the hosts (59-60) with Sloukas committing the turnover. Jones put Maccabi back in the leader’s position (61-60) with Jean-Charles unable to handle the ball, forcing Olympiacos’ bench to a time out. Olympiacos stole the ball coming back from the time out with Jean-Charles scoring two points for the guests (61-62) halfway the fourth quarter. Cold blooded, Sasha Vezenkov, gave a four-point lead to Olympiacos (61-65) and registered his first points of the match right when his team needed them. Three point play from Maccabi made the score (64-65) but Jean-Charles on the other end scored two dramatic points (64-67). Wilbekin scored two free throws for Maccabi (66-67) with Jean-Charles being fouled out 2 minutes before the end of the match. Wilbekin from deep, gave Maccabi a two point lead (69-67) while Sloukas on the other end committed the turnover forcing Olympiacos to a time out. With 1:30 minutes on the clock, Larentzakis stole the ball but Maccabi got the ball back giving Othelo Hunter the chance for two free throws (71-67). Hassan Martin grabbed the offensive rebound on the other end, scored two points and brought Olympiacos back within two points (71-69), with Maccabi calling for a time out. Final seconds in Tel Aviv, Vezenkov grabbed the rebound and headed to the free throw line to score both and tie the game (71-71). Dorsey shot one free throws for Maccabi but the hosts grabbed the rebound and headed back to the free throw line with Wilbekin (73-71). Sloukas was fouled with 2.9 minutes on the clock, made both free throws, tied the game and sent it to overtime.

Maccabi started the overtime period with two points and Printezis scoring the triple (75-76). Wilbekin committed the turnover for Maccabi, giving the guests the possession. Sloukas added two more free throws for his team extending their lead to 3 points (75-78). On the other end of the court, Maccabi had their own chance to score free throws with Wilbekin making both (77-78). Jones gave Maccabi the lead with the floater (79-78) while Larentzakis got fouled on the other end sending the Greek guard to the free throw line (79-80). Othelo Hunter scored two point for Maccabi right before Larentzakis fired the triple to bring Olympiacos back in front (81-83). Maccabi was forced to the offensive foul and Vezenkov punished the Israeli team with another triple (81-86) and one minute on the clock. Othelo Hunter took the difference down to three points with 45 seconds remaining and Olympiacos’ ball (83-86). Hunter again with the dunk made the game a thriller for once more (85-86), forcing Olympiacos to a time out. With 10 seconds on the clock, Larentzakis was sent to the free throw line to make two free throws (85-88). Wilbekin had the chance to shoot three free throws for Maccabi made 2/3 and Olympiacos grabbed the rebound sending Larentzakis to the other end to shoot and two more. The Greek guard made the first one but missed the second, Hunter grabbed the rebound but Maccabi was unable to score with Olympiacos taking the win, 87-89.