Big wins in Euroleague for Reds and Greens
Greece’s representatives in the Euroleague passed their crucial tests this week, as Olympiakos is one win away from clinching the top spot in its group after defeating Laboral Kutxa at home, while Panathinaikos beat Karsiyaka in Turkey to all but seal a spot in the top-16 of the competition.
The Reds stormed into their game with the Basque visitors on Thursday and shook off their recovery in the second half to hold on to a comfortable lead and win 59-52, having conceded just six points after the first quarter (12-6).
Olympiakos is now on a six-one record after seven games, at the top of its pool, but has lost its captain Vassilis Spanoulis through injury. He will miss the action of the next 10 days.
Panathinaikos played a backs-on-the-wall game in Izmir on Friday, leading throughout the match in a hostile atmosphere, and managed to win 69-66 for its third victory in seven games.
The Turks played second fiddle in this crucial encounter, but covered their deficit to go level just before the end (64-64) and give the Greens a late scare, before a remarkable James Gist block averted a full turnaround in the game.
In the Eurocup on Wednesday all three Greek teams lost: AEK suffered an 86-73 home reverse to Galatasaray, PAOK went down to Zenit 89-70 in Thessaloniki and Aris got thrashed at Buducnost 75-56.