Drabbing for Reds, triumph for Greens


Olympiakos is officially in a crisis and Baskonia made the most of it on Friday, beating the Piraeus team by 32 to bring it down from the Euroleague’s joint top to joint second, along with Panathinaikos that preserved its perfect home record against Barcelona on Thursday.

A few days after a bad loss to PAOK for the Greek league, Olympiakos lost 86-52 at Vitoria as the Reds only entered the game in the first quarter and then disappeared from the court.

Baskonia balanced the game in the second period and took the lead (36-30 at half-time), and then ran riot in the second half with 36 points in just one quarter, as the Olympiakos players appeared unable to focus on the game and perform even the most basic tasks.

The Greeks’ insistence on shooting threes while their rate was at just 17 percent on the night was incomprehensible: They tried 30 triples compared to just 26 two-pointers.

Giorgos Printezis was the only Olympiakos player in double digits, making 13 points.

Panathinaikos, on the contrary, played an impressive game against Barcelona in Athens and won 84-75 to climb to second, having beaten Olympiakos in their encounter.

The Greens scored their 12th win in 17 games as after a balanced first half (36-34) they tightened up their defense and contained Thomas Heurtel, Barcelona’s top scorer, while excelling in teamwork on both sides of the court.

An inspiring Nick Calathes (17 points, 12 assists, five steals) led Panathinaikos to a great second half, with the Greens making up through their two-pointers (71 percent) for their poor shooting outside the 6.75-meter line (18 percent). For a team that lives and dies by its triples, Panathinaikos did exceptionally well on the night.

James Gist matched Calathes in scoring (17 points), while Nikos Pappas was scoreless for the first three quarters and then came out to notch up 15 in the last period.

In the Basketball Champions League PAOK downed Capo d’ Orlando 79-61, Aris lost 91-63 at Nanterre and AEK went down 78-71 at Banvit.