Olympiacos has filed an official petition with the Euroleague to nullify Montepaschi Siena’s 74-72 win on Friday. Bobby Brown’s game-winning lay-up with 1.7 seconds left wouldn’t have counted, says the Greek club, if the clock hadn’t been stuck at 10 seconds for several ticks with the game tied at 72.
Instead of pointing the finger at their own clock operator, they should blame missed lay-ups, ghostly transition defense and one monumentally dumb foul by Pero Antic.
Here’s how Olympiacos choked away a five-point lead in 44 seconds.
The game was tied at 67 when a Vassilis Spanoulis three made it 70-67 in favor of Olympiacos with 1:33 left. Siena couldn’t respond, so Spanoulis buried a pull-up jumper from the elbow with Daniel Hackett’s hand and hair in his face to put the lead at 72-67.
Even for the Euroleague’s top scoring team, making up five points in 44 seconds in one of the continent’s most hostile atmospheres seemed highly improbable. Then again, so did this two-handed jam by the white-haired Tomas Ress which cut the lead to three:
But then Siena’s defense went to sleep (or rather, Bobby Brown fell to the floor–or was it a flop?) on an inbounds play and Vassilis Spanoulis found Acie Law (IV) wide open underneath the bucket for an easy lay-up. Or, at least, it should’ve been easy. But Law failed the Mikan Drill and left it pathetically short, and Siena’s David Moss grabbed it and found Brown—now upright and thinking buckets—streaking down the floor.
Brown caught it, dribbled once, and went up for an awkward running three that he wouldn’t have taken had Pero Antic not reached in and initiated contact.
Whistle. Foul. Three shots. Neither Antic, nor the mermaid tattooed on his right bicep, nor anyone with even a single basketball IQ point to their credit, could believe it. Brown made all three, of course, and the game was inexplicably tied at 72.
Olympiacos took it up court with 19 seconds left, yet as it struck ten the clock suddenly stopped. The Siena coaches, protesting what they likely deemed to be home cooking from the Greek scoring table, waved their arms and stomped their feet to protest the stoppage as Spanoulis passed out of a double team and found Law, who dribbled in as the clock started back up, and found Kyle Hines for…another missed lay-up.
Brown fielded the tipped board and did what Bobby Brown does best: took it himself. Right past Spanoulis, right to the rim, and then right to the Siena bench to celebrate with his team up 74-72 with 1.7 seconds left.
Hackett blocked Law’s attempted three to make it official, and soon thereafter, Olympiacos filed a protest to make Siena’s win unofficial.
Watch the entire series of events unfold below the break (video from Lithuanian journalist Simonas Baranaukas):