SPORTS

Rivers drowns Milano as Reds sink at Bamberg

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

KC Rivers made six out of nine three-pointers for Panathinaikos.

TAGS: Basketball

Olympiakos has dropped from the Euroleague summit after its loss at Brose Bamberg, while Panathinaikos overcame the strong challenge of Armani Milano in Athens.

Four days after its bruising loss at AEK for the league, Olympiakos suffered another bad defeat, this time at Bamberg with a 67-65 score on Thursday. It is now on a 9-3 record in the competition.

The Reds thought they had done everything right by the start of the last quarter when they stretched their advantage to 10 points (60-50), but inexplicably switched off, allowing the German team to stage an impressive fight back in the last six minutes when they notched up 13 unanswered points.

Even so Olympiakos was given a last chance to avoid defeat, but managed to waste the 10 seconds it was given, as it was obvious that captain Vassilis Spanoulis’s return from injury has upset the balance of the team that used to be at the top of the Euroleague table. It is now in second.

Worse, forward Dimitris Agravanis was diagnosed with a rupture of its cruciate ligament.

Giorgos Printezis was the top scorer for the Greeks with 12 points, while his fellow Greece player Nikos Zisis made six points for Brose. Newcomer Kyle Wiltjer had an encouraging performance for Olympiakos with 10 points in 12 minutes.

Panathinaikos had KC Rivers to thank for his five first-half triples that contained the 13-point advantage Milano took, leading the Greens to an 80-72 home win. They now have an 8-4 record rising to joint third.

Milano stunned Panathinaikos in the first quarter, leading 23-14 at the end of it, and stretched their distance to 13 (37-24) before Panathinaikos responded to the challenge and cut the distance to just two (41-39) at half-time.

The second half only confirmed Panathinaikos’s superiority, and the energy and quality of James Gist, Nick Calathes (until he came off injured on his shoulder) and Matt Lojeski took the game beyond the Italian visitors.

Rivers scored 20 points and Lojeski added another 14 as the Greek champions preserved their perfect record at home.

In the Basketball Champions League Aris won 80-72 at Zielona Gora, AEK triumphed 85-78 at Estudiantes and PAOK went down 83-63 at home to Ludwigsburg.

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