Olympiacos seal it in Istanbul, Euroleague hangover

Euroleague Basketball

Olympiacos recovered from a double-digit deficit to beat Anadolu Efes 91-87 in Istanbul as the Greek giants improve to 4-1 in Group B of the Euroleague.

Leading by 15 points in the second quarter, Olympiacos let their standards slip and Anadolu fought back to take a 72-61 lead late in the final period.

But Olympiacos finished with a 15-4 spurt, finished with a solitary DJ Strawberry free throw to take the game to overtime and despite Jayson Granger’s 26-point outburst, the 2013 Euroleague champions held on for the win.

“This was a big win for us,” Olympiacos coach Giannis Sfairopoulos said. “Efes is a very strong team at home. We showed character for a full game, we did not surrender. The last five minutes of the game, we were behind by 11 points and did not give up and got to overtime.

“In the first half our team was very good and played excellent defence. We gave Efes only 30 points in the first half. We made 52 percent of two-point shots. We knew that Efes would react in the second half. In the fourth quarter, in the first five minutes we lost concentration. They scored many three-point shots. But they only did this in the first five minutes of the fourth period. We came back in the last 5 minutes of the game. In overtime we scored critical shots and won.”

Georgios Printezis led Olympiacos with 17 points with Othello Hunter adding 15.

The other Group B encounter saw Limoges pile more pressure on EA7 Milano as the French side claimed a 74-65 victory at home.

Limoges moves to 2-3 while Milano, who narrowly missed out on a spot in the Final Four nearly two years ago, drop to 1-4.

Nobel Boungou-Colo paced the winners with 18 points.

Barcelona needed a late run to end Lokomotiv Kuban’s unbeaten start to the Euroleague season in Group C as Ante Tomic starred in the 72-68 win.

Tomic had 16 points and seven rebounds for Barcelona as they took the lead late on only for the Russian visitors, led by Malcolm Delaney to singlehandedly bring Lokomotiv back to within 70-68 and possession with 7.8 seconds, but Satoransky collected a good-as-gold steal and the Czech star sealed the outcome from the foul line.

“It was a balanced game that went down to the final seconds,” Satoransky said. “It gave us a chance to be first and this is why this is a very important win for us. This gives us confidence for the upcoming games.”

Both teams top Group C with 4-1 records.

Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv’s nightmare start to the Euroleague continues as an 84-73 loss to Darussafaka Dogus dropped them to 1-4 in Group D and their worst start since the turn of the century.

The Turkish side got 22 points from Manu Markoishvili as they improve to 2-3 in a solid, all-round showing that drew boos from the home crowd in Tel Aviv at the final buzzer.

In Group A, Crvena Zvezda scored a vital 90-79 win in Munich over Bayern in a game that could have significant meaning as the Top 16 picture becomes clearer.

Quincy Miller scored 22 points to lead the Belgrade side and Stefan Jovic set a new Euroleague record with 19 assists.