SPORTS

Home wins for Reds and Greens in Euroleague

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Olympiakos and Panathinaikos dismissed visiting opposition from the bottom half of the Euroleague table to strengthen their position, as the Reds beat Zalgiris Kaunas on Friday after the Greens had downed Bamberg on Thursday.

Olympiakos won 73-64 for its 16th win in 22 games, a result that has kept the Reds joint second at the table. Coming from a three-game winning streak, Zalgiris challenged Olympiakos in the first three quarters of the game, but the quality and experience of the Reds, led by Giorgos Printezis, proved too much for the Lithuanians in the end.

Olympiakos trailed for most of the first half, that finished 35-35, but edged ahead in the third quarter and pulled away in the fourth.

The Greek champions has Printezis score 17 points and Matt Lojeski notch up 12 on his return from a long lay-off.

Panathinaikos saw off Brose Baskets Bamberg 81-72 and is now alone in fifth and hoping for a top-four finish that would secure it home advantage in the play-offs given its relatively smooth fixtures ahead.

On Thursday the Greens were not outstanding but did the job against a team that is able to cause an upset anywhere. After a strong start for the Germans (leading 11-3) Panathinaikos dominated the game and stretched its lead to a comfortable degree without having to worry in the end.

The hosts, who now have 13 wins from 22 games, had Chris Singleton stand out with 17 points and six rebounds. He was followed by Yiannis Bouroussis and James Feldeine with 16 points each, while Mike James added another 15.

In the first-leg games of the play-off qualifiers in the FIBA Champions League AEK won 78-77 at Juventus Utena in Lithuania, Aris thrashed Strasbourg 71-52, while PAOK lost 76-74 at home to Partizan Belgrade. The return legs are scheduled for February 21-22.

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