SPORTS

Greens to face Real Madrid, Reds to play Zalgiris in play-offs

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Olympiakos will clash with Zalgiris Kaunas and Panathinaikos will face off with Real Madrid in the Euroleague play-offs, for a place in the Final Four in Belgrade.

Following Madrid’s win on Friday night over Brose Bamberg, Olympiakos finished joined third with Panathinaikos and Real with a 19-11 record, but had a superior head-to-head record thanks to its home and away victories over Real. Panathinaikos ended up fourth and Real fifth, to face each other in the best-of-five quarterfinals with the Greens enjoying home advantage, while the Reds will play Zalgiris that finished sixth.

Zalgiris has beaten Olympiakos in both their regular season meetings this year, the last one being on Friday at the Peace and Friendship Stadium, in overtime. However the play-off series will be a completely different proposition, with Game 1 scheduled for Wednesday, April 17 in Piraeus, where Game 2 will also take place two days later.

Home advantage is likely to prove crucial for Panathinaikos that has only conceded two defeats in Athens throughout the regular season, to CSKA and Olympiakos. The Greens narrowly beat Real at home and lost by a wide margin in Madrid. Game 1 of the play-offs will take place on Tuesday, April 16, two days before Game 2, also at the Olympic Sports Hall.

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