SPORTS

Another week, another Greek sweep in Euroleague

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Olympiakos and Panathinaikos extended their winning streak further this week to remain at the top four of the Euroleague table, as the Reds are joint top with CSKA Moscow and the Greens in fourth.

On Thursday Olympiakos defeated host Valencia 72-64 in Spain for its eighth win in 10 games.

The players of coach Yiannis Sfairopoulos were consistent enough to banish any thoughts their host might have for an upset, leading for almost the entire game as they kept Valencia at bay in defense.

Costas Papanikolaou led the scoring for the Reds with 13, just ahead of Janis Strelnieks and Giorgos Printezis with 12 points each.

Captain Vassilis Spanoulis traveled to Spain with the team, but was unable to form part of the 12-member squad for the game as he is yet to recover from his injury.

Then on Friday Panathinaikos preserved its perfect record at home with a hard-fought 82-71 win over Unicaja Malaga that troubled the Greeks more than expected.

The fifth successive win for Panathinaikos came thanks to a decent fourth quarter that saw the host tighten its defense and take more free shots through improved teamwork.

Malaga saw that Panathinaikos had underestimated it and overturned a six-point deficit to surprisingly lead 35-32 at half-time.

The Spaniards advanced by up to seven points early in the second half, but James Gist, who four years ago arrived at Panathinaikos from Malaga as a midseason trade-off, was in fine shape to score 17 points (7/9 two-pointers) and collect 11 rebounds to lead the Greek champion to another home win. Nikos Pappas made another 11 points.

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