Panathinaikos booked its ticket to the Euroleague playoffs on a very special night for its captain, Dimitris Diamantidis, while Olympiakos lost badly on the road and needs a miracle to join the Greens in the quarterfinals.
Twenty thousand Panathinaikos fans packed the Olympic Sports Hall in Athens on Friday to see Diamantidis honored as a “Euroleague legend” by organizers ULEB, in the last year of his illustrious career. Only four other players have enjoyed that honor.
He then went on to lead Panathinaikos to a 76-60 victory over Cedevita Zagreb that sealed the Greeks’ ticket to the last eight of the competition, while the loss Red Star Belgrade suffered to Darussafaka the night before meant that Panathinaikos is third and could even finish second next week. It will visit eliminated Anadolu Efes, and if Darussafaka springs another surprise over visiting Lokomotiv Kuban, Panathinaikos could snatch the home advantage in the play-offs.
On the other hand Olympiakos played probably its worst game this season to lose 98-66 at Khimki on Thursday, as the Russians ran riot after the first 15 minutes of the game in Moscow.
In one of the most decisive games of the season, Olympiakos was disappointing, showing fatigue has got the better of it.
The Reds must now beat CSKA Moscow at home next week and hope that all other results go their way in order to sneak into the play-offs right at the end.