Olympiacos wins 2016 Greek A1 Championship

Olympiacos Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus are the 2016 Greek A1 champions after an epic Game 4 victory over rivals Panathinaikos Athens. The heroics of veteran Vassilis Spanoulis lifted Olympiacos through the double-overtime slugfest, allowing the 2015 champs to defend their title. This is the 12th title for the Greek powerhouse, but only their third in the last decade. The back-to-back championships are especially sweet considering this was a derby contest against one of the toughest teams in the league.

The game, as expected, was tightly contest from start to finish. It was a back-and-forth affair. Both teams fought hard and kept the scores close with each passing quarter. Neither Titan allowed the other to break away for a massive advantage. It was Olympiacos that secured the initial edge with 16-19 lead at the end of the first frame. Panathinaikos was not to be outdone and they rallied in the second period to claim the 35-31 lead at halftime.

After the break, it was Olympiacos’ turn to seize both initiative and the lead on the scoreboard. Defenses from both sides intensified in the second half and easy baskets were fewer and farther between.

At the end of the day, it was Vassilis Spanoulis who knocked down a clutch three-pointer in the dying seconds of the second extra period that lifted Olympiacos to victory. The superstar guard finished the night with a game-high 25 points, almost half of which came from beyond the three-point arc (6-10). He handed out six assists, but also committed seven turnovers. Spanoulis led three other teammates who managed to score in double figures.

Nikos Pappas played aggressively for Panathinaikos and he made seven of his team-high 16 points from the free-throw line. Teammates Dimitris Diamantidis and James Gist chipped in 15 points each.

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