Panathinaikos ended the unbeaten record of Olympiakos in the Basket League defeating the Reds 72-59 at home on Monday to go level on points with its rival, but remained second on an inferior head-to-head record for the time being.
The Reds played without Patric Young and Matt Lojeski, while captain Vassilis Spanoulis limped off during the first half, leaving the Piraeus team seriously depleted. Even so it led 20-12 after the first quarter, before the Greens reigned supreme stretching their lead up to 16 points (63-47) in the last quarter, led by an inspirational KC Rivers with 26.
This was Panathinaikos’s biggest home win over Olympiakos in the last seven years, but it was not enough to offset the 25-point loss it suffered in October in Piraeus, as the visitors’ damage limitation in the end paid dividend. However there is a clear pattern of Panathinaikos improving in each of the four times it has faced its “eternal rival” since that 88-63 reverse.
In other games Kolossos defeated PAOK 73-68 on Rhodes to rise to joint fourth with Aris and set its sights on a top-four finish. The Yellows dismantled Rethymno 98-50 in Thessaloniki, forcing the departure of Rethymno coach Tony Constantinides. The Cypriot is succeeded by Nikos Vetoulas, the Cretan team announced on Monday.
AEK is now within two points from the top after its hard-fought 87-84 victory at Lavrio, but the away wins of Promitheas Patras (79-73 at Doxa Lefkadas) and Trikala (73-68 at Apollon Patras) were much more important.
Finally Korivos Amaliadas took a leap toward its survival in the top flight with its 94-64 win over Kymi at home, that obliterated the 23-point victory of Kymi earlier this season.