Game 1 of the Euroleague play-offs saw Olympiakos make the most of its home advantage to defeat Anadolu Efes on Wednesday, after Panathinaikos squandered a 16-point lead to suffer a potentially damaging loss to Fenerbahce in Athens on Tuesday.
The Reds won 87-72 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium thanks to a consistent performance throughout the game that gave the Turks of Efes no chance of making their way back into the game after the strong start of the Greeks (18-11 after the first quarter).
Olympiakos had five players score between 10 and 14 points, led by Vangelis Mantzaris who seems to have rediscovered his long-range shooting ability with four three-pointers in eight.
Besides the energy the Greek champion had in scoring, it showed great agility in rebounds too, collecting 47 against Efes’s 31, in what was a great all-around performance for the Piraeus team.
Panathinaikos, on the contrary, let its 18,000 fans down at the Olympic Sports Hall losing 71-58 to Fenerbahce of former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic.
After coming back from a 16-6 deficit, the Greens had some 15 solid minutes in the game to end the first half leading by 14 (42-28) and stretch this into 16 points (47-31) before inexplicably shutting down for the rest of the game.
The partial 40-11 score in the Turks’ favor speaks by itself as Obradovic handcuffed his former team and silenced the home crowd, helped also by Fener’s 59 percent scoring rate in triples on the night. KC Rivers scored 16 points for the Greeks.
On Thursday Panathinaikos hosts Fener for Game 2 of the best-of-five series, and Olympiakos greets Efes again on Friday.