Olympiakos grabbed a 91-82 win at Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday, but suffered a judicial defeat on Friday that has seen its original court win over Panathinaikos, regarding the Greek Cup quarterfinal, reversed to end a months-long saga.
Led by Giorgos Printezis and Vassilis Spanoulis, Olympiakos won in Russia to stay on top of its group in the Euroleague top-16 at the halfway point of this second stage.
The match was balanced throughout, with Nizhny leading by up to six points in several instances during the game that produced a high score as both sides focused more on offense than on defense.
The first quarter ended 24-24 and the second 42-41, as the Russians appeared ready for what would have been an upset. Their six-point leads in the third period were a bad omen for the Reds, but the Greeks’ resilience proved sufficient to turn things around through an improved defense in the final quarter to win comfortably in the end.
Printezis was the top scorer for Olympiakos with 20 points, with Spanoulis notching up another 13.
However there was sour news for the Reds on Friday, as the supreme sports court (ASEAD) decided to accept the appeal of Panathinaikos to reverse the decision by basketball’s sport judge, that had annulled the Greens’ win over Olympiakos in the Greek Cup quarterfinal in October.
Panathinaikos had won 77-76 at home against the odds then, but Olympiakos protested at the courtside presence of Dimitris Giannakopoulos, the Panathinaikos president of that time, as he was banned.
The basketball judge originally ruled himself incompetent to decide on the issue, Olympiakos referred that to ASEAD which brought the case back to the basketball judge saying he was competent to decide on it. The basketball judge then ruled in Olympiakos’s favor, annulling the result of the quarterfinal and putting Olympiakos through to the semifinals.
Panathinaikos then appealed to ASEAD to reverse the judge’s decision and on Friday the verdict was in the Greens’ favor. They will now face PAOK in Thessaloniki next weekend for a spot in the final, where Apollon Patras is waiting.