The tough week in the Euroleague has started triumphantly for the Greek teams, as Panathinaikos trounced hitherto joint leader Khimki in Athens and Olympiakos downed European champion Fenerbahce in Turkey.
On Tuesday the Greens eclipsed Khimki 93-65 at the Olympic Sports Hall with an outstanding all-around performance that gave the Russian team no chance on the night.
Panathinaikos had Marcus Denmon come from the bench and score 24 points, including seven in nine triples. James Gist and Thanasis Antetokounmpo also gave the hosts plenty of energy and quality in both defense and offense, while Khimki and its coach Giorgos Bartzokas appeared a shadow of themselves. Remarkably Nick Calathes had 11 points and 11 assists.
The Greek champion is now on a 4-3 record thanks to three consecutive victories in the demanding tournament, and on Thursday it visits Efes in Istanbul.
In the same Turkish metropolis Olympiakos avenged its loss in last season’s final beating Zeljko Obradovic’s Fenerbahce 90-83 in overtime on Wednesday.
The Reds started off nicely, leading by one after the first quarter, but proved erratic in the second period to trail 40-30 at half-time.
The second half was to prove thrilling, as the host led by 13 (47-34), only to see Olympiakos bounce back and advance by 11 (71-60). Yet Fener managed to equalize by the end (75-75) and send the game to overtime.
That was when captain Giorgos Printezis (18 points), Brian Roberts (21) and Janis Strelnieks (16) imposed themselves on the Turkish team, to give Olympiakos a precious victory that takes its record to 5-2. On Friday it hosts Red Star Belgrade in Piraeus.
In the Basketball Champions League Aris defeated Avellino 59-56 at home and PAOK lost 82-69 at Neptunas.