Panathinaikos and Olympiakos suffered bitter defeats in the Euroleague but in different ways, as the Greens lost a great opportunity to beat leader CSKA Moscow at home while Olympiakos suffered a 28-point loss at Khimki.
The Greens went down 75-70 on Friday enduring their first defeat in Athens, and have slipped to fifth at the table.
In what was a Euroleague classic, the two teams produced a very entertaining game that could have gone either way.
Panathinaikos and CSKA shared the first couple of quarters (20-15 after 10 minutes, 29-31 at half-time), with the Greeks offering some spectacular moments – as Nick Calathes and Thanassis Antetokounmpo produced one alley-oop after another – while having a very poor 1/16 in three-pointers.
A crushing spell by the Greens in the third quarter saw them take a 10-point lead (46-36), but CSKA quickly recovered to finish the period level (51-51).
The Russians shot themselves ahead in the final quarter (63-71) as they seemed less tired than the hosts, but the home advantage kept Panathinaikos within distance (69-71) into the final minute, before a freak triple by Sergi Rodriguez settled it for the visitors.
Nikos Pappas scored 14 while Calathes and Antetokounmpo notched up 13 each.
Olympiakos suffered a second bad loss in a week, going down 82-54 at Khimki on Thursday, as Giorgos Bartzokas, the Greek coach of the Moscow club, had a field day against his successor at Olympiakos Yiannis Sfairopoulos.
Bereft of energy in one more game on the road, the Reds were no match for Khimki, letting their host run away with the match from the outset.
The Olympiakos defense allowed the Russians to score 28 points in the first quarter and 49 by half-time (49-25), as the first half was constantly in a double score.
Khimki simply extended its distance in the second half over a demoralized Olympiakos that bore no resemblance to the team with a never-say-die character of previous months. Kyle Wiltjer made 11 points and Janis Strelnieks added 10.
Reports on Friday said at least one of Olympiakos’s US players is about to go.
In the Basketball Champions League Aris lost 76-59 at Telekom Bonn.