SPORTS

Milutinov hands Olympiakos victory at Baskonia

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Within less than a week Olympiakos produced a second emphatic performance on the road to beat Baskonia in Spain on Wednesday for the Euroleague, after Panathinaikos surprisingly went down at debutant Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

The Reds followed up their triumph at Khimki last Friday with a 85-80 victory at Baskonia, as they ran away with the game at Vitoria from the second quarter.

The Basques, who aspire to have a better season this year than last, proved problematic in the defense, a weakness the Greeks exploited to a great extent in the second and third period.

Late in the third quarter Olympiakos took a 19-point lead (66-47), but the hosts reduced the deficit up to three points (81-78) one minute from the end, without depriving the Reds of a previous win.

Nikola Milutinov was the top scorer with 23 points plus 11 rebounds for the Piraeus team, that on Friday hosts Armani Milano.

Panathinaikos, on the other hand, underperformed in Munich and lost by one point (80-79) to a side that had been thrashed at home a few days earlier by Anadolu Efes.

The low-post defense was the Greens’ Achilles heel, as the German team got near the basket with ease in most cases. The two teams went neck and neck for most of the match, and each time Panathinaikos managed to build a small advantage it proved unable to hold on to it.

Keith Langford almost single-handedly tried to turn things around for the Greek champion, but his 18 points on the night were not enough to offset the six-pont deficit as the last possession was wasted through a turnover by James Gist, the last of 18 turnovers throughout the game.

Panathinaikos is now on a 1-1 record and on Thursday it hosts Gran Canaria in Athens.

In the Basketball Champions League AEK needed two overtime periods to defeat host Nymburk 94-93 in Prague, PAOK suffered a home reverse to Bonn with a 100-95 score, and Promitheas scored its first ever home win in Europe beating Olimpija Ljubljana 79-77 in Patra to make it two out of two.

Online