Olympiakos not only lost to Fenerbahce/Ulker at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Friday but also saw its advantage from the game in Istanbul covered by the Turks, while Panathinaikos produced another erratic performance in the Euroleague, this time in Lithuania, to lose to Zalgiris Kaunas and dent its qualification chances.
A 13-game home winning streak came to an end for Olympiakos at the worst moment, as Zeljko Obradovic’s Turkish team scored three-pointers at a 58 percent rate and made the most of its supremacy in offensive rebounds (12 against four) to win 73-64 and cover its six-point loss in Turkey.
Olympiakos trailed for most of the game and just as it had gone level (48-48) it started showing too many nerves in attack to go down to an opponent who was superior on the night.
The result has reduced Olympiakos’s chances for a top-two finish, as it is now involved in a three-way tie at the top of the group with Fenerbahce and CSKA Moscow and must face the Russians away.
At Kaunas Nikos Pappas was not enough for Panathinaikos, as the Greek champion lost 76-70 to Zalgiris and is now under threat by Alba Berlin in the battle for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Pappas scored 21 points and helped Panathinaikos overturn a deficit of 14 points (42-28) to lead 55-52, but Zalgiris proved more resilient than Panathinaikos on the night to reclaim the lead in the end.
Panathinaikos remains fourth in its group, just one point ahead of Alba.
The top four of each group of eight will make the quarterfinals.