Panathinaikos defeated Olympiakos for the second time within 11 days, this time for the league, to gain the upper hand at this early point of the race for the top spot in the regular season.
The Greens came from 15 points down late in the first quarter (30-15) at their home court of the Olympic Sports Hall on Monday to win 73-69 in a rather scrappy, but still entertaining game.
The early lead of Olympiakos was thanks to six out six three-pointers, but when the hosts tightened their defense and put pressure on Olympiakos captain Vassilis Spanoulis, they turned the game on its head. The 43-41 half-time result in the Reds’ favor turned into a 10-point advantage for the Greens in the fourth quarter (67-57) that Olympiakos managed to contain to four points in the end.
The Panathinaikos fans, fresh from their soccer team’s 3-1 home win over PAS Giannina a couple of hours earlier, saw their team add this league win to the cup triumph over Olympiakos in Piraeus on October 8. The draw for the knock-out cup semifinals to take place in mid-December, has brought Panathinaikos against Aris and second-division Faros Keratsiniou against PAOK.
In the other league games over the weekend, three other teams than Panathinaikos have made it two out of two: AEK beat Lavrio 70-65 away on Sunday, Trikala saw off promoted Kavala 73-64 and Kifissia upset PAOK with a 73-67 win in Thessaloniki on Saturday.
In other Saturday games Aris spoiled the party of new boys Arkadikos, winning 90-50 in the first home game of the Tripoli team in the top flight, while Kolossos Rhodes downed Rethymno 80-67 and Korivos Amaliadas snatched a precious victory at its neighbor Apollon Patras with a 62-60 score.