Olympiakos outclassed champion Panathinaikos for most of the derby game in Piraeus on Sunday, but it took a controversial referee decision to secure the Reds an all-important 78-77 win.
Olympiakos has only chalked up one loss this season in the league, against two for the Greens, but did not cover the four-point loss it had suffered at Panathinaikos earlier in this campaign and this will weigh in the latter?s favor should the two sides end up level on points.
Up until the 32nd minute, the hosts were completely dominant in the game, leading 61-42 at that point. However Panathinaikos started a counterattack that almost saw it force overtime in the end.
Mike Batiste of Panathinaikos attempted a buzzer-beating shot from the edge of the three-point line that went in, with referees needing to check the instant replay to make sure it was a two-point shot. However they overlooked a foul on Batiste by Olympiakos’s Giorgos Printezis that would have also given the US forward the chance of a free throw.
In other games Ikaros confirmed its top-flight status for next season too, defeating Aris 69-54 and all but condemning Maroussi to relegation; the northern Athens team fought hard but lost 86-82 at PAOK.
KAO Dramas proved too strong for Panionios, winning 71-62 at home, Kavala downed Peristeri 81-67 and AGO Rethymnou saw off Ilisiakos away from home with a 71-67 score.