Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal

Talks about EuroLeague's 3rd place game being completely unnecessary have been going on for years, but the noise coming from Olympiacos Piraeus fans made sure that this season such discussions would be shut for good.

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Olympiacos fans were the only reason why the game against Barcelona became relevant. Yes, Barca wasted another double-digit lead. Yes, the game was pretty close at the end.

However, the outcome of the game didn't mean much as both teams were competing purely for honor and out of necessity.

Olympiacos president Panagiotis Angelopoulos rightfully called this feat unprecedented.

"What happened these days has not happened again in the history of European basketball, neither at the level of clubs or national teams," Angelopoulos said after the game. "12,000 people traveled from all over the world in difficult financial conditions.

"It's something very important. We lost in the last tenth of a second, and people are chanting and singing for the team. It's something spectacular to see, and we are grateful to our fans and to the team for what they have achieved.

In 2009, when Olympiacos participated in the first Final Four under our presidency, we did not imagine that in 2022 we would get to have 12,000 people on our side shouting until the end and vindicating our choice," he added.

Olympiacos fans also made an impression even in the opposing Barcelona camp, including the head coach and former Panathinaikos point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius, who praised the created atmosphere by the Reds fans. 

"It wasn't hard to predict that Olympiacos will have motivation with 12 thousand fans behind them," Jasikevicius said. "We knew that the game will be in a great atmosphere, and I'm sure that everyone enjoyed playing in such an environment."

Player of the Game
Nikola  Mirotic
EFF
27
Nikola Mirotic
Points 19
Accuracy 8-11
Rebounds 4
Assists 4

Meanwhile, the Rising Star winner Rokas Jokubaitis also congratulated Greek supporters for such a dedication.

"It's true that the fans add that extra gear. Obviously, our fans were barely audible because everyone saw how many Olympiacos fans came here," Jokubaitis noted. "I'm very happy for Olympiacos because of such support. For us, it also gave us the edge, and I'm very happy that we finished the season with a win."

The Reds supporters began their orchestra moments before the tip-off. During Barcelona's introduction, Nikola Mirotic heard boos, Nick Calathes was greeted with loud heckles, while Sarunas Jasikevicius was showered in the loudest boos possible.

Time doesn't exist for these fans. Calathes and Saras are former Panathinaikos duo, so such a reception wasn't surprising.

Despite that Olympiacos were trailing by 14 points in the third quarter, Reds supporters didn't stop believing in their team. Loud Olympiacos chants were coming from left to right, while the referees also received additional pressure after every unfavorable call to Olympiacos.

And this tireless chanting worked and gave Olympiacos extra push at the very end.

With 4:33 left in the fourth quarter, Shaquille McKissic made a slam after the steal, and Olympiacos fans made a deafening sound of satisfaction as their team cut the deficit to just 3 points (65-68).

"For sure," asked, whether the presence of the fans gave extra motivation," McKissic told BasketNews. "When the fans come up, we have to show up and play hard."

It feels like the only thing that Olympiacos fans didn't get was the win from their team. However, even if the Olympiacos basketball team is leaving Belgrade winless, one thing is certain: Olympiacos fans won the Final Four.

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FC Barcelona
Olympiacos Piraeus
57%
35/61
Field goals
47%
24/51
35
Rebounds
25
23
Assists
18
9
Steals
13
25
Fouls
21
46%
6/13
Free throws
78%
21/27

Best players

Nikola  Mirotic
19 PTS
8/11 FG
2/3 FT
Aleksandr  Vezenkov
20 PTS
7/12 FG
5/7 FT
Nick  Calathes
8 REB
8 DREB
0 OREB
Aleksandr  Vezenkov
11 REB
7 DREB
4 OREB
Nick  Calathes
13 As
2 TO
27 MIN
Konstantinos  Sloukas
7 As
1 TO
25 MIN
Nikola  Mirotic
27 EFF
70% 2P%
100% 3P%
Aleksandr  Vezenkov
27 EFF
67% 2P%
33% 3P%