SPORTS

Olympiakos wins nail-biting match at Bayern

Olympiakos made it eight out of eight in the Euroleague with a brave 105-103 win at Bayern Munich on Thursday to ensure it will top its group and be one of the seeded teams at the second group stage of the competition.

Despite playing without a couple of key players, the European champion led for virtually the entire game in Munich and deserved this victory thoroughly. The Reds have therefore preserved their perfect 19-0 record in all competitions this season.

With Bayern soccer star Bastian Schweinsteiger looking on from the stands, the Germans tried to counterbalance their inexperience at this level with their talent, and matched Olympiakos in all respects.

The spectacular game had Olympiakos lead 28-22 after the first period and 59-50 at half-time, but Bayern came back to level the score at 102-102 in the last minute before Stratos Perperoglou grabbed a crucial offensive rebound and scored two free throws for 105-102.

It all came down to a Heiko Schaffartzik three-point shot in the last second that narrowly missed the target, to put a damper on the fantastic atmosphere that the Germans as well as a few dozen Greeks had created at the stands.

In his best game this season to date, Perperoglou led the scoring with 25 points, with Vassilis Spanoulis notching up 24.

Olympiakos played without half of its front line as Giorgos Printezis and Mirza Begic were suspended. The Euroleague has imposed a three-game and a four-game ban on the two players respectively for their part in last week’s scuffle at the game against Galatasaray, but the Reds will appeal the decision. Olympiakos will also play its next home game, against Siena, behind closed doors.

In the Eurocup on Wednesday Panionios triumphed 86-78 at Neptunas Klaipeda in Lithuania and has all but qualified to the next round, while PAOK suffered an 84-65 loss at Aykon Ankara.