SPORTS

Reds second in Euroleague at halfway point

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Olympiakos is joint second at the halfway point of the regular season with 10 wins from 15 games after downing Fenerbahce at home on Thursday, while Panathinaikos gave away a game it should have won at UNICS Kazan on Friday for its sixth loss.

Olympiakos defeated Fenerbahce 71-62 in a game that had two very different faces. The Reds strangled their opponent in the first 25 minutes going up by 40-21 at half-time and stretching their lead as far as 23 points, before the Turks fought back to cut the deficit to just four (65-61).

However the Greek champion regrouped and held on to its lead till the end, also securing an advantage of nine points in case the two sides end up level at the end of the regular season.

Matt Lojeski was once again the top scorer of Olympiakos with 14 points, and Ioannis Papapetrou was quite stunning with 12 points. However it was the frontline combination of Khem Birch (11 points, 13 rebounds) with Patric Young (six points, seven rebounds) that won the game for the Reds.

UNICS beat Panathinaikos 83-81 in Russia leaving the Greeks at the fifth spot on the table.

Panathinaikos blew a 14-point lead (52-38) as UNICS advanced 68-67 and made the most of its superiority in triples (50 percent against 34.6 percent of the Greeks) and of some questionable calls by the referees to win the game by two in the end.

Nick Calathes was impressive for one more game scoring 23 points and distributing six assists, while Mike James and Yiannis Bouroussis notched up 13 points each.

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