Valencia’s EuroLeague playoff hopes suffer critical blow after loss to Olympiacos

Olympiacos rallied past Valencia at La Fonteta on Wednesday night (79-88) and trimmed the EuroLeague playoff chances of the Spaniards.

The “Reds” played excellent for 30 miutes and endured Valencia’s comeback in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.

Olympiacos led by 13 at halftime (31-44) and by as many as 33 points late in the fourth quarter (41-74), playing impressive basketball on both ends.

Valencia cut the deficit to eight (71-79), behind a 30-5 run, but ran out of time and suffered a painful home loss.

“We cracked as a team, loudly, until players with energy came off the bench came in with the right mentality, but with very few options to win the game.

The desire and heart of those players gave us an option, but Vezenkov hit a three-pointer that sealed the outcome,” Valencia head coach Jaume Ponsarnau told reporters afterwards.

Valencia dropped to 17-15, just one win outside the playoff zone. The hosts have to remain undefeated in the final two games of the EuroLeague regular season in order to retain their chances to qualify for the postseason.

On the other hand, Olympiacos improved to 15-17, but has already been eliminated from the EuroLeague playoffs.

In a clash of two already-eliminated squads that needed overtime, Khimki survived ASVEL Villeurbanne at Arena Mytishchi on Wednesday night (87-85).

In its last home game of the season, Khimki led by as many as 15 points (50-35) but the French came back and forced an overtime.

William Howard sent the game to extra time with back-to-back threes, but ASVEL couldn’t escape from Moscow with the win in the extra period.

Khimki remained on the bottom of the EuroLeague standings, with a 4-27 record. On the other hand, ASVEL lost its fifth game in a row in the EuroLeague and dropped to 12-15.

After the end of Round 32, four more teams joined FC Barcelona in the EuroLeague playoffs, with three more spots left open.

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