Panathinaikos put an end to the streak of three losses in the Euroleague to defeat crosstown rival Olympiakos 66-62 on Thursday. The Greens have actually created another streak, of three straight wins over the Reds at home in all competitions in the last couple of months.
Once again Panathinaikos held off the high-scoring game of the European champion and ensured Olympiakos captain Vassilis Spanoulis would once again disappoint with his performance (2/12 field goals and 1/2 free throws).
Although the two teams were always close, the fact that the score remained at low levels in yet another encounter of theirs favored Panathinaikos that is more defense-orientated.
The game swang both ways right up to the last minute. The Greens edged forward at half time with a 35-33 advantage, but the match was full of lead changes and was destined to be decided at the very end.
Home advantage told in the last couple of minutes though, as Olympiakos could only score one point in that period, while Panathinaikos got to built a four-point lead in the end that may well play its part when the second group stage comes to a conclusion.
James Gist shook off his injury to be once again instrumental for the Panathinaikos coach in marking Spanoulis, but it was Stephane Lasme who led the scoring for the Greens with 18 points and Roko Ukic adding another 14. Stratos Perperoglou notched up 12 points for Olympiakos and Giorgos Printezis scored 10.
The fear of the strict monitoring by the Euroleague forced Panathinaikos fans to behave impeccably on the night, a rare sight indeed for a Greek derby.
The result means that Panathinaikos and Olympiakos are now tied along with Armani Milano in second at the table with a 4-3 record at the halfway point of the group.