SPORTS

Strong start in the Euroleague for Reds and Greens

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Olympiakos and Panathinaikos have made the ideal start to the new Euroleague season, with the Greens beating Maccabi Tel Aviv at home and the Reds thrashing Khimki in Russia.

On Thursday Panathinaikos dismissed the strong challenge of Maccabi with an 89-84 score at the Olympic Sports Hall, papering over its defensive problems with its prolific offense.

This tricky home game for the Greek champion had Maccabi lead for a long time after a strong start by the Greens, but Panathinaikos turned a 67-64 deficit into an 82-71 advantage to win the match with ease in the end.

Matt Lojeski was the top scorer and rebounder for the Greens, with 20 points along with collecting five rebounds.

In Moscow Olympiakos defeated Khimki 87-66 on Friday to banish the nightmares from previous visits to the team coached by Giorgos Bartzokas, who led Olympiakos to its last Euroleague trophy in 2013.

In the first European game with David Blatt on its bench, Olympiakos produced a significant variety in its game and made the most of the poor showing by the Russians, who only had prolific Alexey Shved (34 points) on a good night.

The Reds recovered from 10 points down at the start and led 44-34 at half-time, never looking back in the second half. They had Zach LeDay score 14 points and Sasha Vezenkov add another 13.

In the FIBA Champions League, holder AEK lost 79-75 at home to Hapoel Jerusalem and PAOK went down 69-59 at Venezia, but debutant Promitheas Patras scored a historic 93-84 triumph at Oostende.

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