Real Madrid began a new era of the EuroLeague with an 83-65 win over Olympiacos at the Barclaycard Center in the Spanish capital.
Despite the double-digit margin, the 2015 champions were made to work hard for their win and didn’t fully pull away from the Greek side until late on in the third quarter. And even when Olympiacos enjoyed a good spell mid-way through the fourth, Real answered with a dagger 12-2 run to seal the outcome.
Sergio Llull continued his fine start to the club season with 22 points on 4/5 shooting from outside. Teenager Luka Doncic added 11 as he looks to thrive on the extra responsibility that has been bestowed on him.
Matt Lojeski scored 14 points for Olympiacos.
Llull almost single-handedly threatened to put the game out of Olympiacos’ reach as he scored 15 points in the opening ten minutes to give the hosts a 24-17 cushion leading into the second period.
The pride of Piraeus though fought back in the second quarter despite trailing. They scored the final two buckets of the half, including a buzzer-beater by Vassilis Spanoulis to narrow Madrid’s lead to 42-40 at the interval.
But the positive spell for Olympiacos, which resulted in a brief lead didn’t last long, as the hosts, through Rudy Fernandez’s triple restored their advantage at 52-51 and strong play from the promising teen Doncic extended the lead to twelve points after three.
A weary, fatigued Olympiacos looked out of sorts early in the fourth period as the hosts powered through, and when the visitors looked to cut the gap to single-digits, Real Madrid upped the ante and, in the end, recorded a convincing opening day victory.