Credit: Hellenic Basketball Federation
Credit Hellenic Basketball Federation

Albeit short-handed, Olympiacos Piraeus cruised past Ionikos Nikaia 110-85 (27-20, 34-21, 20-20, 29-24) at the Peace and Friendship Stadium and booked a ticket to the Greek Cup semifinals.

The Reds will know their next opponent as soon as a draw will be held to determine the pairings.

Unlike the recent derby against Panathinaikos, Giorgos Bartzokas couldn't count on the services of Thomas Walkup and Kostas Sloukas. The 29-year-old Texan guard is facing a health problem, while the Greek international is suffering from some side effects after he received the third dose of the anti-COVID vaccine.

Quincy Acy, who had been hospitalized with acute tonsillitis and will try to make the Reds' EuroLeague Round 18 game against CSKA Moscow. In contrast, Sotiris Economopoulos, coming from Olympiacos's development team, made his pro debut three minutes before the end of the contest.

The hosts had six players in double digits, with Shaquielle McKissic delivering another great performance with 17 points and Michalis Lountzis adding another 17 in Walkup's absence.

Olympiacos were up 61-41 at half-time, shooting 16/18 on two-pointers. Ionikos reacted, cutting down the deficit to ten (63-53) four minutes into the third quarter, but then the hosts run on a partial score of 16-3 to finish off the game.

Eugene German, Greek League's first scorer, led all scorers in Piraeus with 22 points, while Nikos Chougkaz, out on loan from Panathinaikos to Ionikos, chipped in 16 points and 10 rebounds.

"It was a game held under difficult conditions. We're taking tests and our minds weren't there," Olympiacos's coach Giorgos Bartzokas told Greek broadcaster ERT.

"Players dealt with it more loosely than they should have and this is evident in our defensive performance. We weren't consistent, it was like an exhibition game. We have to get back to how we play," he went on to say.

Free throws this season

Points made: 13,0
Accuracy: 76,7%
Place in standings: 6
Record max: 22
Record min: 5
Most made FTs: Tyler Dorsey

The Greek coach stressed that he was extremely unhappy with how his players approached the game. 

"I didn't like anything today. We had 20 assists in the first half and scored 61 points. You can say that it was the only positive thing to come out of this game. It was a pleasant game for all the fans and an unpleasant one for the coach," he concluded.

"We didn't play well on defense," Olympiacos's forward Sasha Vezenkov admitted.

"We don't want to dwell on excuses. Defenses tonight were not at the highest level. We have a very difficult game against CSKA, a super-talented team coming up. We want to protect our home court, as we have done this season."

Olympiacos: Shaquielle McKissic 17 (5/8 FG, 2/3 FT, 4 AST), Michalis Lountzis 17 (5/9 FG, 2/2 FT, 3 REB), Moustapha Fall 13 (5/6 FG, 3/3 FT, 5 REB), Kostas Papaniokolaou 12 (4/5 FG, 1/2 FT), Giorgos Printezis 11 (4/7 FG, 2/2 FT), Alexander Vezenkov 11 (4/6 FG, 2/2 FT, 5 REB).

Ionikos Nikaia: Eugene German 22 (8/15 FG, 2/2 FT), Nikos Chougkaz 16 (6/10 FG, 2/4 FT, 10 REB), Kostas Gontikas 11 (4/10 FG, 3/6 FT, 5 REB), Rayvonte Rice 10 (3/11 FG).

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