Olympiakos stunned Europe on Wednesday defeating Euroleague holder CSKA in Moscow, while Panathinaikos went down to CSKA’s neighbor Khimki, also in Russia, on Tuesday.
The Piraeus team went into the match in Moscow with a 1-3 record, poor performances and question marks hanging over many players’ future. However it somehow managed to upset CSKA and win 94-89, beating the Russian giant in its own game of relentless attack as well as collecting more rebounds than its host in the process.
The slow start for Olympiakos gave way to an excellent second period (partial score 25-15 for the Greeks). The Reds never looked back in the second half, always retaining the lead over an error-prone CSKA.
Coach Kestutis Kemzura was happy to have two of his American players in top form on the night, with Brandon Paul scoring 20 and Kevin Punter making 16 points.
Olympiakos is now on two wins from five games, the same as Panathinaikos that went down 103-86 at Khimki despite a good first half that had the Greens lead 55-50 in Moscow.
The free-scoring Russians proved too hot for the Greek defense to handle in the end, with the hosts making 15 triples.
However Panathinaikos coach Argyris Pedoulakis attributed this loss to the shortage of rebounds, as Khimki had almost twice as many as the Greens (45 against 23).
The Greek champion tried to hold on to its lead before it vanished early in the second half, Jimmer Fredette (16 points) gave it some hope of recovery, but Khimki would not be denied on the night.
DeShaun Thomas and Nick Calathes added another 10 points apiece in what turned out to be another bad night on the road for the Greens.
The Euroleague continues with a second set of games this week, on Thursday and Friday.