Olympiacos passed through the challenging home court of Partizan.

Olympiacos passed through the challenging home court of Partizan.

On the evening of Thursday, March 28, 2024, for the 32nd round of the Euroleague, Olympiacos managed to overcome a major contender for the Euroleague play-in spot, although it was a challenging task. Throughout the first three quarters, Partizan appeared more solid, well-positioned on the court, and more determined to play superior basketball in pursuit of the coveted result. However, from the onset of the fourth quarter, Olympiacos mounted a strong reaction, exhibiting remarkable defensive prowess while scoring 28 points and limiting Partizan to just 10.

K. Punter of the home team emerged as the top scorer, tallying 19 points, 5 assists, and 2 rebounds. Meanwhile, K. Papanikolaou distinguished himself for the visiting team with 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists.

The Match Chronicle:

Partizan made it difficult for Olympiacos, applying pressure all over the court from the beginning. Players such as Punter, Kaminsky, Caboclo, and PJ Dozier showcased excellent form, each appearing pivotal in potentially securing victory against a formidable Final Four favorite. Partizan led 22-17 after the first quarter and extended their lead to 40-32 by halftime. By the end of the third quarter, they had further increased their advantage to 13 points. However, fatigue became apparent among the home team’s players in the final quarter. Coupled with Bartzokas’ superb defensive strategies, the point difference narrowed to single digits, ultimately leading Olympiacos to a victorious 74-69 triumph at the Štark Arena.

Despite being the standout player of the game, Punter’s occasional errors proved costly for Partizan, resulting in their loss despite facing a somewhat off-form Olympiacos team.

Can Partizan qualify for the Euroleague play-in?

Can Partizan qualify for the Euroleague play-in?

Partizan boasts an excellent coach in Željko Obradović, but this year, they have yet to establish their identity. Recently, their two centers, F. Kaminsky and B. Caboclo, have shown signs of integration and contribution to the team, while Z. Leday’s injury appears to be hindering Partizan in recent matches. Combined with K. Punter’s earlier absence, the team has struggled to put together a complete performance necessary to compete in the demanding Euroleague environment. Despite the absence of Russian teams this season, the competition remains fierce, with teams showing strength both at home and away. Some, like Zalgiris and Efes, are now in a stronger position to secure a play-in spot.

With only two rounds remaining, it’s clear that Partizan must secure a victory if they harbor any hopes of making the play-in. However, considering recent performances and yesterday’s loss to Olympiacos, the prospects for Partizan making it to the play-in appear quite daunting.

Olympiacos showed why it was a finalist in the Euroleague last year.

Olympiacos, on the other hand, managed to overturn what seemed like a lost game against a determined Partizan side. The credit goes to the collective effort, as no individual Olympiacos player particularly stood out, except perhaps K. Papanikolaou. Despite a challenging day, M. Fall made significant contributions in the last quarter, helping to shift the momentum. As the next day dawns, Olympiacos finds itself in 5th place, with aspirations for a 4th place finish or even higher. The outcome of the last two games will be crucial, especially as they face Crvena Zvezda away and conclude their campaign against the upstart Fenerbahce, who are vying for 4th or 5th place.

You can watch the highlights of the Partizan-Olympiacos game on the official Euroleague YouTube channel.

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Posted in News, Olympiacos Piraeus, Teams.

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