The absence of injured Vassilis Spanoulis proved costly for Olympiakos that lost 78-74 at Fenerbahce/Ulker on Friday to dent its chances of finishing in the top two of its Euroleague group.
The Reds are now level on points with Panathinaikos as well as Fenerbahce and Malaga as joint third, with four wins in eight games. There are six more rounds of games to play and the top four from each group of eight advance to the playoffs.
Led by former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, Fenerbahce held off the visitors from Greece in a tight game that could have gone either way. It became clear that had Olympiakos enjoyed the services of its captain it would have left Istanbul with victory.
The European champion could have still snatched the win as it led 23-21 after the first period and only trailed 41-38 at half-time, but a rather poor showing in the third quarter opened the gap in the Turks’ favor (59-51).
A last-ditch effort by the Greeks saw them reduce the deficit from 68-59 to 76-74, but in the end it was Fenerbahce that collected the two points.
Coach Giorgos Bartzokas would have expected more from his foreign players, but neither Mardy Collins, not Brent Petway, nor Jamario Moon, nor Cedric Simmons were able to help the Piraeus team, that had to rely on Stratos Perperoglou and Costas Sloukas (17 points each) on the night.