Euroleague: Olympiacos Piraeus defeat Real Madrid to win second straight title
Last Updated: 13/05/13 12:13am
Olympiacos' Kyle Hines dribbles away from Rudy Fernandez of Real Madrid
Olympiacos Piraeus won the Turkish Airlines Euroleague crown for the second straight year after a 100-88 victory over Real Madrid Baloncesto in London.
Vassilis Spanoulis exploded for 22 points - all of which came in the second half - as the Greek side battled back from a slow start to triumph in front of a vocal following at the O2 Arena.
A total of six Olympiacos players scored in double figures as their Spanish opponents were unable to build on an impressive run in the first quarter.
Acie Law contributed 20 points and five assists to the winning effort, while former NBA star Rudy Fernandez was Madrid's leading scorer with 21 points.
But it was Olympiacos who trailed early on after a hot start saw Madrid, who defeated arch rivals Barcelona to reach the final, take a 27-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Reds fought back in the second and had reduced the arrears to just four points heading into the half-time interval.
The third quarter was more even as league and Final Four MVP Spanoulis finally got into a scoring rhythm, although Fernandez kept up with him to tie the scores heading into the final period.
It was Olympiacos who seized the all-important initiative at the start of the fourth quarter as crucial baskets from Stratos Perperoglou and Spanoulis put them into a lead which they never relinquished.
"This is my third Euroleague title and I feel really great, it is hard to describe," Perperoglou told Euroleague's official website.
"For the second time in a row, Olympiacos is at the top of Europe. It is a really hard thing to do. I feel blessed; I don't know what to say. We were down by 17, but never lost control. This team never gives up."