SPORTS

Reds beat Khimki as PAO loses to CSKA

Olympiakos clinched the second spot in its Euroleague group by beating visiting Khimki 79-70, while Panathinaikos finished fourth in the other second-round group after losing 69-63 to CSKA Moscow at home on Thursday.

Consequently in the playoffs that start next week Olympiakos, the holder, will face Anadolu Efes with home advantage in the best-of-five series for a spot in the Final Four, while Panathinaikos will face Barcelona with the Catalans holding the home advantage.

On Thursday Olympiakos responded to an early Khimki lead to go ahead 45-30 and held on to its advantage through thick and thin in the rest of the game for a precious victory in Piraeus that also had the Russians eliminated.

Costas Papanikolaou was outstanding for the Reds, as he scored 21 points with six out of six three-pointers!

Panathinaikos faced the even stronger resistance of CSKA at the Olympic Sports Hall in Athens and trailed its visitor for most of a match that went down to the wire.

Eventually Panathinaikos was betrayed by the poor performance in attack by such key players as Dimitris Diamantidis, going down by six points in the end. The Greens’ captain scored no points in 32 minutes. Mike Bramos nearly made up for Diamantidis, though, as he notched up 18 points on the night.