Olympiakos beat Panathinaikos for the third time in as many games so far this season, this time triumphing by eight (77-69) for the Euroleague in Piraeus on Friday.
An improved Panathinaikos from the first two games against its eternal rival remained second-best to the Reds but stayed close in the score almost throughout the game.
However Olympiakos managed to handcuff influential Nick Calathes and after a rather balanced first half (38-37) it pulled away mainly thanks to its efficient defense that kept Panathinaikos to 13 points in the third quarter and 19 in the fourth, to open its lead to 11 points three minutes from the end (75-64) and stroll to a relatively easy win in the end.
Man of the match Ioannis Papapetrou scored 13 crucial points for Olympiakos, while Khem Birch was also influential at the Peace and Friendship Stadium with 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.
Panathinaikos relied on just two players for its scoring, but the 24 points from Mike James and the 23 from KC Rivers were not enough for the Greens, who also lost the battle of rebounds (37-29 in the Reds’ favor).
The result has maintained Olympiakos joint second at the Euroleague table with 11 wins in 16 games, while Panathinaikos lies sixth with nine wins.
In the FIBA Champions League AEK went down 80-78 at Dinamo Sassari and PAOK is close to elimination after losing 70-56 at Villeurbanne, while Aris lost 95-94 in overtime at Banvit but has filed an official protest against certain referee calls.