In a bad week for Greek teams in Europe, Olympiakos suffered its first loss in the Euroleague, going down at Barcelona on Friday, after Panathinaikos let victory at Baskonia slip through its fingers on Thursday.
Barcelona could be forgiven for asking to play a Greek team every week, as after thrashing Panathinaikos in its opening game in the competition its only other victory came against Olympiakos, also at home. The 73-51 score speaks volumes of the difference between the two teams at the Palau Blaugrana, as Olympiakos was a shadow of its usual self.
The Reds committed one turnover after another and seemed unable to concentrate in the game after the first few minutes and their 12-7 lead.
Once the fans of the Catalan team broke their five-minute silent protest, related to political developments in Spain, they pushed the home team to a great showing that Olympiakos was unable to match on the night.
In the last 12 minutes of the game Olympiakos scored just 10 points. However it remains on top of the table with four wins in five games, along with Real Madrid who also lost.
Ioannis Papapetrou was the only Olympiakos player over 10 points, scoring 11 on the night.
Panathinaikos wasted a great opportunity for its first away win in the Euroleague as it surrendered a four-point lead in the last minute to lose 85-84 at Baskonia.
The Greens had another poor game in defense away from home and after 13 unanswered points in the first half it surrendered its early lead to its host, which ended the first half two points ahead (47-45).
A solid third period for the Greek champion gave it an advantage that very nearly made it the night’s winner. However a lapse in concentration in the last few seconds turned an 84-80 lead to a one-point loss in the end.
The Greens, who now are on a 2-3 record, had Nikos Pappas as their top scorer with 22 points, followed by James Gist with 16. Notably Nick Calathes had 14 points and a remarkable 14 assists.
Coach Xavi Pascual must urgently tackle the problem of free throws, as the 13/21 record on Thursday is not Euroleague standard.
In the Basketball Champions League AEK needed overtime to beat visiting Rosa Radom 96-92, while Aris lost 75-69 to Telekom Baskets Bonn and PAOK suffered a 75-61 defeat at Elan Chalon.