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Olympiakos knocks out Real Madrid for quarterfinal spot March 21, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.
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Euroleague defending champion Panathinaikos eliminated

With defending champion Panathinaikos and Aris eliminated from the Euroleague a day earlier, Olympiakos became the country’s sole team to reach the premier European club-level basketball competition’s quarterfinals following a 72-63 victory against visiting Real Madrid last night.

The Spanish team was eliminated, ending third in the Round of 16’s Group F. Olympiakos, which captured the group’s second spot with a 4-2 record, will meet Group G winner CSKA Moscow, a favorite for the title, in a best-of-three quarterfinal series. Holding the home-ground advantage, the Russian club will play the first and third game – should it be needed – at home.

Panathinaikos coach Zelimir Obradovic, in an initial assessment of his team’s failure to reach the Euroleague quarterfinals, said his players did not show the experience that was necessary. The Athenian basketball club was deprived of the chance of defending its European title after being beaten 82-73 by Partizan in Belgrade.

The defeat left Panathinaikos a disappointing third in the Round of 16’s Group D with a 3-3 record. Siena and Partizan advanced from the group to the quarterfinals with 4-2 records. Obradovic blamed the defeat on a lack of cool heads in his big-budget team as well as a lack of tall men to win rebounds and force the play inside the key. Partizan won 37 rebounds compared to Panathinaikos’s 18.

“We lost the game on offence because we missed three times in crucial moments,” said Obradovic. “Panathinaikos has experienced players and I expected smarter, more patient play from them,” he continued, adding that the team had a huge problem in the power-forward position.

Playing in Group E, Thessaloniki team Aris ended its campaign with a morale-boosting 83-74 home win over Lietuvos Rytas. Both teams were eliminated with 2-4 records, with Tau Ceramica and Fenerbahce gaining quarterfinal places from this group.

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