Olympiakos is one step from winning the Basket League title after coming from seven points down in the last three minutes of its home game with Panathinaikos to win by five in the end (77-72) and lead the best-of-five series 2-1 on Thursday.
The Greens seemed destined for yet another break, as they led 66-59 and saw Olympiakos’s best player in Games 1 and 2 of the finals limp off injured: Giorgos Printezis is a doubt for Game 4, but at least saw his captain take over and lead the Reds to a home triumph in Game 3.
After being largely anonymous in the first 35 minutes of the game at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, Vassilis Spanoulis once again took it upon himself to win the game for the hosts after winning Game 2 with his buzzer beater.
He scored 10 consecutive points to overturn the deficit and lead the Piraeus team to an unassailable lead and to the first home win in the final series. He finished the game with 22 points.
Panathinaikos paid for its lapse in concentration in the end, missing crucial shots and free throws, and is now with its collective back on the wall ahead of Game 4 at home, probably on May 30.
The series for the third place has also gone to a fourth game, after Aris defeated AEK 74-69 at home on Wednesday to slash its deficit to 2-1. If AEK wins on Saturday in Athens it will win the series.