Panathinaikos and Olympiakos are back level on five wins from nine games in the Euroleague, as the Greens defeated Turkey’s Darussafaka 86-80 at home on Friday after the Reds went down to Maccabi Tel Aviv (80-73) in Piraeus on Thursday.
Panathinaikos scored a much-needed win after two straight losses in Europe, as its six-point triumph against its Turkish opponent was much more than a mere victory.
The Greens led almost throughout the game at the Olympic Sports Hall (46-34 at half-time) and had Yiannis Bouroussis to thank for holding on in the end when the Turks pushed the hosts all the way.
Bouroussis scored 18 points, including 14 free throws having received 13 fouls, capping his best performance to date in Panathinaikos.
Another important note from this match was the successful debut of Mike James (having just recovered from his injury) and of new arrival Kenny Gabriel, who is brought in to replace injured James Gist.
Olympiakos, on the other hand, was disappointing against Maccabi at the Peace and Friendship Stadium, as its defense work and shooting rate (six out of 33 triples) left much to be desired, and the Israelis were prolific in attack. particularly in the first half.
The Reds fell behind from the start (20-9) and the visitors showed more energy than the Greeks (with 43 rebounds against Olympiakos’s 35) to lead by up to 18 points (67-49), before a late comeback effort by the Greek champions reduced the arrears to seven in the end.
Matt Lojeski scored 15 and Vassilis Spanoulis added another 14 points for Olympiakos.
In the FIBA Champions League AEK downed Partizan Belgrade 91-81, PAOK lost 67-62 at Oldenburg and Aris went down 81-74 at Frankfurt Skyliners.