Olympiakos humbled Real Madrid in Piraeus and Panathinaikos escaped with victory from a tricky game with Darussafaka in Turkey this week, as Greece’s representatives in the Euroleague are showing their teeth now that it matters.
Vangelis Mantzaris led the Reds to a 99-84 win over their Madrid nemesis in previous Euroleague finals, in a fantastic atmosphere at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Friday.
Olympiakos produced a solid defensive performance in the first half, allowing the Spanish giant to score just 33 points, and placed its emphasis in attack, never allowing Real Madrid to harbor any genuine hopes of a comeback. Name-day boy Mantzaris scored 19 points with six in six triples.
For Olympiakos to make the play-offs it will have to beat both Khimki in Moscow and CSKA in Piraeus in the two remaining games.
Panathinaikos is only one win away from advancing to the play-offs, after defeating host Darussafaka 86-84 in Istanbul. The Turks were ahead for most of the game on Thursday, but the Greeks managed to win even after a rather mediocre performance courtesy of Elliot Williams.
The US shooting guard has made the difference for the Greens since arriving in Athens last month, and he scored a three-pointer and two free throws in the end to turn the 84-81 deficit to an 86-84 triumph, for a total of 19 points of the night. Miroslav Raduljica fared even better in terms of scoring, with 21 points.
Panathinaikos needs to beat Cedevita Zagreb at home next week, in which case it could even snatch the second spot in the group at the end.