SPORTS

Reds down Baskonia, Greens crumble at Barca

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Olympiakos beat its Spanish opposition in Greece while Panathinaikos succumbed to its Spanish host as the new Euroleague got underway this week.

A stadium ban sent Olympiakos to Crete for its first home game and the Reds filled the stands of the Dyo Aorakia court in Iraklio in their 75-64 victory over Baskonia on Thursday.

Despite playing without Kim Tillie – who will miss the next four months’ action – Vassilis Spanoulis and Brian Roberts, Olympiakos strolled to a relatively easy win against an ambitious visitor.

After the first few minutes Olympiakos was the boss in the encounter, advancing by eight (41-33) at half-time and by up to 16 points in the second half.

Giorgos Printezis was the top scorer for the Greeks with 17 points.

Dimitris Agravanis scored 13 points and bagged five rebounds in 16 minutes to offer Olympiakos some much-needed energy it had missed in its league loss to Panathinaikos four nights earlier.

In Spain Panathinaikos crumbled in the second half to lose 98-71 to host Barcelona on Friday despite keeping up with its host in the first half (trailing 40-35).

The return of Panathinaikos coach Xavi Pascual to Palau Blaugrana, which he calls ‘home”, was never going to be easy for him or his team. When the triples are not going in, the Greens have a problem, and once again they suffered from their particularly poor shooting record (2/18) from the distance.

With Marcus Denmon yet to adjust to his new club, Nikos Pappas was the top scorer for Panathinaikos with 20 points.

At the other end Kevin Seraphin scored at will (24 points) leading Barcelona to a home triumph as the Greek defense seemed time and again absent.

In the first week of the group stage of the Basketball Champions League Aris defeated Zielona Gora 70-64 at home, while AEK suffered an 87-79 reverse in Athens to Estudiantes and PAOK got thrashed 103-70 at Ludvigsburg.

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