SPORTS

PAO close to ending Barcelona’s Euroleague run

There were contrasting fortunes for Greek clubs in the Euroleague quarterfinal games on March 29, which left Panathinaikos one win away from knocking out European champion Barcelona and Olympiakos one defeat away from being eliminated by Monte di Paschi Siena.

In front of a capacity 19,000 crowd at the OAKA indoor arena in Athens, the Greens produced a gutsy performance to beat Barcelona 76-74 and take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

This means that Zeljko Obradovic’s men have the chance to wrap up the quarterfinal when they take on the Spaniards at home again on March 31.

Dimitris Diamantidis paced the winners with 18 points, including six out of six free throws toward the end of the game.

Olympiakos, however, lost 81-72 by Siena in Italy and will now need to beat its opponent on March 31 in order to force their best-of-five quarterfinal to a final, decisive game in Piraeus.

The Italian champion?s second win in a row was largely down to the 24 points scored by Marko Jaric.