Markus Eriksson had a huge game against Olympiacos Piraeus, striking 6 triples to help secure a big victory for his Herbalife Gran Canaria team.
Wait… what? Herbalife Gran Canaria? Yes, that’s right.
If you have a good memory, you will recall that one of the best games of Eriksson’s career came in Round 28 of last season, on March 21, 2019, when he scored 24 points after making 6 out of 10 three-point shots to inspire the Canary Islanders to a 90-67 victory over visiting Olympiacos.
Fast forward 10 months and on Tuesday night Eriksson was up to those same tricks again. On this occasion the Swedish sharpshooter – now playing for ALBA Berlin – led his team to a hard-earned 86-93 victory at Peace and Friendship Stadium, scoring 22 points after making 6 of 9 three-point attempts.
The margin of victory was much closer on this occasion than Eriksson’s previous win against the Greek side, so his scoring heroics were far more important to the victory. That’s especially the case because he struck at key moments of the game. The first of his six triples came near the end of the first quarter, pulling it back to a 1-point game, 20-19, as ALBA clawed back its early deficit. Eriksson’s next three-point strike, early in the second quarter, gave the visiting team its first lead at 24-25. Then came another, helping ALBA towards a double-digit advantage and a comfortable halftime lead.
The second half started with more of the same as Eriksson made his fourth and fifth triples, initially keeping Olympiacos at a safe distance. And when the Reds came back into the game, even going ahead at the end of the third quarter, Eriksson reappeared once again with his sixth and final triple allowing ALBA to retake the lead, 71-73, and this time the German team was in front for good.
The reemergence of Eriksson’s enjoyment at playing against Olympiacos was a pretty unkind way for the long-range shooting ace to ‘thank’ a key man in his career’s development: he played under Georgios Bartzokas at Barcelona in 2016-17 and made 22 appearances in only his second EuroLeague season. This week, he ruined Bartzokas’s debut after returning to the Olympiacos coaching chair. And after their recent experiences against him, Reds fans will be hoping not to see Marcus Eriksson again for a very long time.