The second group stage of the Euroleague started with contrasting fates for Greek teams, as Olympiakos suffered a home defeat to Fenerbahce/Ulker while Panathinaikos triumphed at Lietuvos Rytas.
Fenerbahce upset Olympiakos with an 84-70 victory on January 20 that sets it on course for winning the group and acquiring home advantage for the playoffs – which now appears more difficult for Olympiakos.
The Reds were behind for most of the game and just as they got control of the game halfway through the last period, the Turks scored a 20-5 partial score to win by 14 points.
Thodoris Papaloukas had 15 points for Olympiakos with Vassilis Spanoulis adding another 14, but Milos Teodosic was particularly disappointing for the hosts with just two out of 13 field goals.
The game also marked the return to Greece of Fenerbahce guard Sarunas Jasikevicius. The former Panathinaikos player (pictured) scored five points including a decisive three-pointer toward the ed of the match.
A good second half was all Panathinaikos needed on January 19 to score a precious win, beating Lietuvos Rytas 80-59 at Vilnius.
The Greens struggled in the first half as the hosts played a zone defense that troubled the visitors. Lietuvos was seven points ahead toward the end of the first half (27-20) and went into the third period with a 33-29 lead.
However, influential Martynas Gecevicius?s knee injury at the end of the first half took its toll on the Lithuanian side, which had huge problems trying to contain Panathinaikos from then on.
There was no stopping coach Zeljko Obradovic?s players in the second half, with an impressive Mike Batiste and Costas Kaimakoglou scoring the lion?s share of points.
With Dimitris Diamantidis (six points, six assists) feeding the ball in the paint, Batiste scored 26 points and Costas Tsartsaris another 12, while Kaimakoglou bagged 16 points with three shots out of three outside the 6.75-meter line. He also collected nine rebounds.