Greece’s Euroleague representatives scored precious home wins this week, but still have plenty of work to do to meet their objectives in the top-16 of the competition.
Panathinaikos came from behind to beat Lokomotiv Kuban 84-79 in a filled-to-capacity Olympic Sports Hall in Athens on Thursday, after a remarkable game by captain Dimitris Diamantidis (15 points, five rebounds and six assists in 24 minutes) in his last year in action. James Gist and Elliot Williams scored 16 points each.
The Greens may have finally beaten the Russians in the fourth time of trying this season, but they have not managed to match the nine-point loss they had suffered in Krasnodar, meaning that Lokomotiv has the upper hand now that the two teams are level on points in the battle for the second spot, with three games to go.
Yet beyond the actual result, the win of Panathinaikos was one of those character-building feats that make a team stronger in the long term.
Olympiakos was desperate for victory over bottom team Zalgiris Kaunas, and eased to a 74-59 triumph on Friday at the Peace and Friendship Stadium.
Giorgos Printezis was the leading scorer for the Greeks with 17 points, seconded by an improving Costas Papanikolaou who notched up 11.
The Reds now need to win all of their three remaining games, in the hope they can sneak into the play-offs right at the end. However they have to face Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow at home, and Khimki away.