SPORTS

Greens win on the road, Reds come close

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Olympiakos pushed CSKA all the way in Moscow before going down to the Euroleague favorite on Thursday, but Panathinaikos edged out Buducnost for a much-needed away win on Friday.

Holding CSKA to below 70 points in Russia came close to the miracle that Olympiakos needed to beat the Moscow giant away, but the details worked in the hosts’ favor who eventually beat the Greeks 69-65.

The impressive defensive effort of the Piraeus team had CSKA trailing 35-31 at half-time, but a third-quarter comeback by the Russians (21-9 partial score in Q3), reversed the situation and Olympiakos was left chasing its host in the end.

Vassilis Spanoulis made 16 points and Giorgos Printezis added another 14 in Olympiakos’s second loss in five games.

For Panathinaikos, victory at bottom team Buducnost was imperative, and the 72-67 result in Podgorica is definitely satisfactory, even though for three quarters the Greens performed rather poorly. They also are on a 3-2 record now.

Buducnost gave Panathinaikos a stern test in Montenegro as the offensive performance of the Greek champion did not match its defensive one. The hosts would edge ahead every now and then, as the two teams went neck-and-neck (31-31 at half-time).

That was until the start of the fourth quarter, when Panathinaikos raised its offensive game thanks to DeShaun Thomas (14 points, four triples in five) and Ioannis Papapetrou (13 points). Nick Calathes had 10 points and nine assists.

Next week Panathinaikos will host Olympiakos.

All three Greek teams won in the FIBA Champions League: Promitheas made it four out of four defeating Besiktas 80-72 in Patra, AEK won 90-80 at Dijon and PAOK scored its first win downing Nanterre 83-82 in Thessaloniki.

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