In a game played almost completely for pride, Olympiacos defeated visiting Adecco Estudiantes 90-80 in Group A on Thursday in the last Euroleague games of the season for both teams. The two teams finished tied for sixth place at 4-10, although Estudiantes remained ahead due to having beaten Olympiacos by 30 earlier in the season. This time, it was entertainment, as Olympiacos put five scorers in double figures, led by Robert Gulyas with 20 points. Roger Mason added 16, Marque Perry 12, Evangelos Sklavos 11 and Boris Gorenc 10. For Estudiantes, Carlos Suarez poured in 20, Ruben Garces and Hernan Jasen 11 each, and Rafa Vidaurreta 10.
Even when Olympiacos and Adecco Estudiantes knew that were already eliminated from making the Top 16 weeks ago, they showed great desire to accomplish a on last victory in their Group A regular season finale on Thursday in Athens. Olympiacos had extra motivation, having lost 87-57 in the previous meeting between the two. With Gulyas and Perry running the most offensive plays and scoring 8 points apiece, the Reds took an early 16-12 lead and finished the first quarter ahead 20-17 lead. Garces led Estudiantes with 6 points and Carlos Suarez added 5.
Olympiacos came up strong in the second quarter, taking a fast 34-24 lead, but Estudiantes found offensive solutions to cut the margin into 34-31 and threaten the home team. Vangelis Sklavos and Roger Mason were really effective, as they offered inside and outside strength to lead Olympiacos to a 45-37 lead at halftime, while Suarez was the only offensive threat for the visitors.
During the whole second half, Olympiacos had a complete control of the game after escaping with a large 18-point lead, 56-38, after 24 minutes. Hernan Jasen didn't let his team collapse, however, since his 9 points in the quarter cut the margin into 56-50 and kept Estudiantes alive. Mason was there again to assure a 63-52 lead for the Reds at the end of the period. Olympiacos started to feel more secure in chasing its third win in the Euroleague.
The last quarter was similar to the third one, meaning that the home team had no reason to reduce its effort. Taking nine (of his total 20) points by Gulyas and involving several more players in the offensive scheme, such as Ivan Zoroski, Angelos Koronios and Mason, Olympiacos led by 79-65 midway through the last period and reached an easy domination by 90-80. Before that, Estudiantes had cut the deficit into 82-75 due to some offensive help from Suarez and Rafael Vidaurreta, but it was nor enough to assure its forth victory in 14 regular season games.
Thursday, February 10, 2005