Facing a do-or-die situation, Prokom Trefl stayed alive in the fight to reach the Top 16 from Group B when it edged visiting Olympiacos 79-77 in Sopot, Poland on Wednesday. Prokom improved to 4-8 in Group B, one victory behind Olympiacos, which dropped to 5-7. Goran Jagodnik led the winners with 27 points. Christian Dalmau added 15 while Michael Andersen and Tomas Pacesas each had 10 for Prokom. Olympiacos had an unexpected contribution from Georgios Printezis, who had played less than 15 minutes total in three previous Euroleague seasons, and none at all in this one. Printezis stood in for Matt Freije, who didn't show up for the team flight to Sopot, and wound up leading Olympiacos with 14 points. Sofoklis Schortsianitis and Andrija Zizic each had 10 for the guests, who rallied in the second half to get a 72-73 lead with under 2 minutes to go. After that, however, Pacesas and Tomas Masiulis nailed back-to-back threes to help Prokom register a crucial win.
Andrija Zizic got the guests going with a basket inside and an assist to Barlos for three-pointer and a quick 0-5 Olympiacos lead. Prokom found someone to rely on in Michael Andersen, who scored in the paint and added a dunk coming off the baseline. Zizic made another layup which Reinaldas Seibutis followed with a driving basket in a 0-8 run that Edney capped with a back-to-back layups as the Reds soared ahead 4-13. Prokom turned to Christian Dalmau, who followed a jumper with a big triple to wake the hosts up. Sofoklis Schortsianitis came off the bench and immediately dunked for Olympiacos, but Dalmau was on fire. He hit a seven-meter three-pinter that Barlos matched at the other end to keep Olympiacos up 12-18. Jagodnik beat the Olympiacos zone with his first triple and added a driving layup, but a dominant Schortsianitis and a stop-and-pop jumper by Edney allowed Olympiacos to keep a 19-24 margin after 10 minutes.
Olympiacos kept looking for Schortsianitis early in the second quarter while Prokom lacked concentration on offense. When Edney finished a fastbreak, the guests had a 21-28 lead. Jagodnik came to the rescue with free throws and then fed Tomas Masiulis for a basket-plus-free throw, while consecutive offensive fouls on Schortsianitis and Seibutis forced the guests to call timeout. Andersen canned a jumper to finish a 7-0 Prokom run that tied the score at 28-28. Manolis Papamakarios fired in a long triple for the Reds, but Jagodnik followed a close basket with a four-meter jumper to put the hosts in charge, 32-31. Quincy Lewis stepped up with 3 free throws and a long jumper for Olympiacos, but Jagodnik was now unstoppable. He nailed back-to-back bombs from downtown in a 10-0 run that newcomer Rashid Atkins capped with a driving layup to give Prokom a 46-37 lead at halftime.
Filip Dylewicz fired up the crowd with consecutive dunks right after the break while Olympiacos struggled against the Prokom's zone defense. Zizic came to the rescue, however, with a second-chance basket to which Seibutis added a fastbreak layup that brought the Reds within 50-41. A technical foul on Dalmau fueled the Olympiacos comeback, as a corner three by Nikos Hatzis ended a 0-9 run that made it a four-point game, 50-46. Dalmau made up for his mistake with a driving layup and an outstanding corner triple, while Pacesas boosted Prokom's margin to 57-46. Hatzis buried another three, igniting a 2-11 run in which Printezis dunked twice and Hatzis added with a layup, enough to bring Olympiacos within 59-57 at the end of the third quarter.
A surprising Printezis tied the game with another basket in close and then banked it a three-pointer to put Olympiacos in charge, 59-62, early in the final quarter. Prokom had been limited to just 2 points in 7 minutes until Wojcik made a free throw to which Pacesas added a big triple that made it 63-64. Papamakarios shocked the crowd with a hook shot but Jagodnik answered from downtown to tie the game again, 66-66, with 5 minutes to go. Jagdonik - who else? - buried a tough jumper to put Prokom in front again, 68-66. Zizic and Printezis combined for 5 of 6 free throws to give the Reds back the lead, 70-71, with under 2 minutes left. Andersen stepped up with a put-back basket which Printezis erased with a driving layup, but then Pacesas hit a critical triple for a 75-73 Prokom lead. Schortsianitis made 1 of 2 free throws before Masiulis struck again from downtown for Prokom, making it 78-74 with 45 seconds left. Schortsianitis canned a short jumper, Jagodnik made 1 of 2 foul shots while Edney drew a foul at 79-76 with 2.5 seconds to go. He missed the second on purpose, but Andersen grabbed the defensive rebound to seal a key win for Prokom.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006