Greens triumph at Efes while Reds lose at Barca

By George Georgakopoulos

Panathinaikos revived its hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals of the Euroleague with a victory at Anadolu Efes in overtime on Friday, while depleted Olympiakos succumbed to unbeaten group leader Barcelona in Spain.

With its new coach, Fragiskos Alvertis on his career debut, Panathinaikos played a mediocre game that almost saw it lose to second-bottom Anadolu Efes in Turkey, only for Jonas Maciulis to score a three-pointer right at the end to equalize at 54-54 and take the game to overtime.

Led by Antonis Fotsis (scorer of 14 points), the Greens dominated the additional five minutes and won 65-60 for their fifth win in 10 group games.

Panathinaikos won despite the absence of Ramel Curry and James Gist, in its first game after the sacking of Argyris Pedoulakis. It showed the never-say-die spirit that has led the club to six European crowns, while a key factor for the Greeks’ victory was their superiority in rebounds (51 against 39), including 16 offensive ones.

With Vassilis Spanoulis and Giorgos Printezis out injured, Bryant Dunston and Brant Petway were simply not enough for Olympiakos at Barcelona. It went down 70-58 after a brave performance in the first 25 minutes of the game that saw the European champion take the lead several times.

Dunston notched up 18 points, but his temporary withdrawal in the third period due to a slight injury allowed Barcelona to break away and never look back on the night, in a match that was always going to be difficult for the Reds.

This means that Olympiakos is on a 4-6 record and needs to win all four remaining games to have a good chance of qualifying to the play-offs.