High Expectations Have Been set for Olympiakos B.C. to Fulfil
The red and white will begin their Euroleague campaign with a matchup against Baskonia in Piraeus. High expectations have already been set for the improved squad, coming off wins against Kolossos Rodou and Iraklis by comfortable margins in the Greek Cup. The addition of skilled American Guard Thomas Walkup, creates new depth in the roster, following the retirement of club legend and European basketball icon, Vassilis Spanoulis. Olympiakos have also added sharpshooter, Tyler Dorsey, who has thorough experience playing in the Euroleague, offering an exterior threat for the offense, something that has been lacking in the past few seasons. Dorsey seems to have already gelled with the team well, putting up a stellar performance against Iraklis, scoring 21 points, shooting five from seven from beyond the arc.
After a promising start to last season’s competition, winning five of the first eight games, and ending the year with five wins from the final seven games, there have been hopeful signs of a team led by Georgios Bartzokas, who are fighting to make their first playoff appearance since 2018. One of the main struggles of last year’s campaign was the inability of frontcourt players to match up against stronger and more dominant taller players on opposition teams. However, the acquisition of 2.18m center, Moustapha Fall, has ignited a beacon of hope as a solution to these issues. In the Greek Cup games, the French big-man already looks promising, with his size and speed drastically helping on both ends of the court.
Adding to an already strong core of players, Kostas Sloukas, Georgios Printezis, Sasha Vezenkov, and Kostas Papanikolaou to name a few, the new additions to the lineup create an exciting list that have the ability to make a deep run in the 2021/22 Euroleague Season. Moreover, with Olympiakos re-entering the Greek Basket League, the team can develop and build momentum through a greater number of games throughout the season.
After finishing the 2020/21 season in 10th place with 18 wins and 16 losses, Baskonia will prove to be a challenging opening matchup for the red and white. With a roster of immense talent, highlighted by former Thrylos player Wade Baldwin, they are not to be taken lightly, with both teams eager to begin the season with a win. If Olympiakos manage to secure a win at home, it will be a confidence-boosting start, enabling the squad to build rhythm and momentum. Recent media developments have also hinted that key players within the roster for Baskonia, leading scorer Rokas Giedraitis and forward Alec Peters are questionable to play in the opening match in Piraeus, which could favour Olympiakos given the form the squad is in following the Greek Cup games.
The opening game will offer Olympiakos fans a glimpse into what to expect from this year’s squad, who have extremely promising expectations to fulfil. A positive start is crucial against Baskonia to build momentum and work towards the goals of making the playoffs for the first time since 2018 and ultimately recreating previous successes and securing the Euroleague title once again. The potential that this new-look roster has to re-establish Olympiakos as a title-contender after previous disappointing seasons is very exciting, however, we have a long season ahead of us.