Panathinaikos appears to have completed its transformation from Euroleague also-runs to play-off favorites, after defeating Fenerbahce at home on Thursday, while Olympiakos added another disappointing performance with its bad loss at Barcelona on Friday.
In front of a capacity crowd at the Olympic Sports Hall, as is always the case when the team of former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic comes to town, Panathinaikos beat Fenerbahce 76-71 inflicting on the Turks their first loss in the Top 16.
This fourth consecutive victory for the Greens has taken their tally to five in eight games and was to a great extent thanks to new signing Elliot Williams who has boosted the team’s firepower. He scored 14 points in his Euroleague debut with Panathinaikos, as fellow debutant MarQuez Haynes added another six.
The Greens are now looking good for a spot in the play-offs and appear even able to challenge Lokomotiv Kuban for a top-two finish, behind Fenerbahce, that would grant them home advantage in the quarterfinals.
Two former Olympiakos players, Joey Dorsey and Stratos Perperoglou punished Olympiakos in Spain as Barcelona thrashed the Greeks 82-66. Dorsey was actually a transfer target for Olympiakos over this one-week recess of the Euroleague, but the Greek champion refused to meet the money demands of the American and he moved to Barcelona and scored 12 points as well as collecting eight rebounds against Olympiakos on Friday.
Perperoglou notched up 16 points, matching Daniel Hackett who was the top scorer for Olympiakos on the night.
The Reds even failed to defend the 12-point advantage they had from the first game between the two teams in case they finish level on points at the end of the second group stage. The Greeks are now on three wins in eight games.
Hakim Warrick, the former Phoenix Suns center who signed a contract with Olympiakos earlier in the week, was not ready to play in Spain and will only help the Reds’ frontline in the six remaining games of the Top 16.