Greek powerhouses Olympiacos may have been bounced from Euroleague competition, but Reds heads have surely already forgotten all about Montepaschi Siena and that lot as their side rips through Greek basketball. In finishing off rivals Panathinaikos, 87-83 in overtime, just before midnight last night, Olympiacos completes the season sweep of the Greens while extending its own domestic league record to 25-0 with one game to play.
A sellout crowd of 10,000 at Olympiacos’ home turf thrilled to a seesaw battle throughout; early in the second quarter, the biggest lead of the game was reached at eight points and a 25-17 advantage. The home side which buoyed early and often by hot outside shooting, coming mostly from Yotam Halperin. Halperin ultimately led all scorers with 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting including the huge 6-of-9 on threes.
The Reds overcame perhaps the finest individual performance contributed by Dimitris Diamantidis in 2010-11, going for 24 points on a Halperin-like 8-of-13 overall plus seven boards and a season-high six assists – in over 40 minutes of playing time. But hey, let’s roll the highlight clip!
Meanwhile, in the afterglow of victory, the excellently named BallinEurope reader Apollo wished to set the record straight on the importance of Olympiacos amazing run this season. The Reds finish the regular season at last-place Iraklis BC on Wednesday night.
Wrote Apollo in part:
Olympiacos is about to complete an *undefeated* season in HEBA A1, which is historic. This has not happened in Greece since the 1980s, and in fact has *never* happened since the current league was formed in 1992.
In fact, it has only happened once before in a 26-game regular season with 14 teams, but there were no playoffs then. The all-time best record of 26-0 was achieved by Aris in 1985-86 and about to be matched by Olympiacos. Since there were no playoffs that season, once Olympiacos gets to 27-0 after their first playoff game, they will break the all-time record for most wins without a defeat in a single season of Greek League basketball.And as you can see below, only *twice* in history has a team gone undefeated at the end of a season that included playoffs: Aris in 1986-87 and 1987-88, but in those seasons the total number of games played, including playoffs, was only 21. So Olympiacos has already easily beat that mark.
The top undefeated runs in Greek basketball history include the following (sourced from EΣAKE official website).
• AEK, 1967-68. Finished season 22-0 with no playoff games.
• Olympiacos, 1975-76. Finished season 22-0 with no playoff games.
• Panathinaikos, 1979-80. Went 16-0 in regular season, won championship after finishing playoffs at 28-2 overall.
• Aris, 1985-86. Finished season 26-0 with no playoff games.
• Aris, 1986-87. Went 18-0 in regular season, won championship after finishing playoffs at 21-0 overall.
• Aris, 1987-88. Went 18-0 in regular season, won championship after finishing playoffs at 21-0 overall.
(As reader Phileus suggested, BiE should just repost Apollo’s comment, so there you have it.)
With wins in each of the next two games, then, Olympiacos writes the club’s name into the record books. BiE supposes the next challenge thereafter would be to match that 68-0 run set by Aris over three years, eh?