SPORTS

Damaging road losses for Greens and Reds

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Panathinaikos and Olympiakos suffered damaging losses on the road in the Euroleague, in a poor start to another double week.

Panathinaikos went down 78-73 at Belgrade to host Red Star on Wednesday despite having led for most of the game by up to 13 points.

The Greeks have slumped to a 13-10 record, staying on sixth, but could have edged closer to the fifth place with a win that they came so close to attaining.

However the players of coach Rick Pitino once again threw away a major lead, while the technical foul on the US coach for kicking an advertising board late in the fourth quarter did not help.

The Greens were also hurt by the absence of Ioannis Papapetrou in the second half, who probably got injured during the first half.

DeShaun Thomas and Giorgos Papagioannis scored 12 points each for Panathinaikos.

Olympiakos has been reduced to an also-run in the Euroleague after suffering its 14th loss in 23 games, this time at Kaunas. Zalgiris beat the Reds 94-69 on Tuesday, leaving the Greeks with some face to save in the rest of the tournament, at least.

In Lithuania Olympiakos was always second-best against a determined and prolific host that led 46-37 at half-time and ran away with the game in the third quarter with a partial 23-11 score.

Sasha Vezenkov made 15 points, while Nikola Milutinov scored eight points and collected 13 rebounds.

As if the result was not bad enough, Vassilis Spanoulis and Taylor Rochestie left the game with injuries, with Rochestie set to sit out the next three weeks.

The Piraeus team languishes in 13th, and despite its mathematical chances of making the top eight in the 11 fixtures remaining, it is far from convincing it can turn things around in its favor, even if it beats CSKA Moscow at home on Thursday.

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