Olympiakos and Panathinaikos defeated their Turkish visitors at home this week to improve their position on the Euroleague table ahead of a very demanding week for both.
The Reds beat Efes Pilsen, one of their rivals for a top-four finish, and climbed to seven wins from 12 games. The 88-81 score reveals an entertaining game at the Peace and Friendship Stadium of Piraeus on Thursday.
The Turkish team recovered from going 13 points down (25-12) after the first quarter, scoring 34 points in the second (48-46 at half-time) and edge ahead after the third (68-65).
However Olympiakos had an excellent Axel Toupane on the night as he scored 19 points to lead his team to a partial 23-13 score in the decisive period.
The Greeks also had Nikola Milutinov recover from previous mediocre performances, scoring 15 and collecting nine rebounds.
Panathinaikos had to sweat before defeating Darussafaka 75-67 on Friday. It really has Dinos Mitoglou to thank for sparing the champion’s blushes in what was supposed to be the easiest game of the season, at home against the bottom team of the Euroleague.
The Greens had a steady lead in the first half, which ended 43-32, but could not stretch their advantage beyond those 11 points.
Darussafaka took advantage of the hosts’ complacency and even drew level at 65-65, but Mitoglou made the difference in the end, reaching a record 20 points.
He was followed by James Gist with 15 points, for the Greens who won for the sixth time in 12 games.
In the Basketball Champions League AEK triumphed 83-70 at Hapoel Jerusalem, Promitheas Patras lost 88-84 at home to Oostende and PAOK defeated Venezia 77-76 in Thessaloniki.