Olympiakos stunned Barcelona in Spain to improve its chances of a top-four finish, while Panathinaikos suffered a heavy loss at European champion Real Madrid.
Nikola Milutinov appears to have returned to his best as he led Olympiakos to a 69-60 triumph at Barcelona on Tuesday.
The Serb forward scored 18 points, collected 14 rebounds and earned eight fouls, in a game that Olympiakos won first and foremost thanks to its defense.
The Greeks had the upper hand for most of the game (32-30 in their favor at half-time) and pulled away in the third quarter, never to look back again despite the efforts by the Spanish for a comeback.
It appears the Reds have overcome their recent slump and have now climbed to fifth with an 8-5 record.
Panathinaikos, on the other hand, conceded its seventh defeat in 13 games, being one of the five teams on that record, as it went down 89-68 at Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Always the outsider in this game, Panathinaikos had a terrible start to the match in Spain trailing by 20 early in the second period. The entry of Keith Langford in the equation shifted the balance somewhat, with the Greeks cutting their deficit to 43-31 at half-time.
The Greens reduced their distance further, up to five points (63-58) at the start of the fourth quarter, but then surrendered to the might of the holders, who disappeared with ease in the last few minutes of the game.
Langford made 20 points and Nick Calathes had 17, but when the rebounds are 42-24 against you it is impossible to win. This makes Friday’s match against Armani Milano in Athens a must-win one for Panathinaikos.
In the Basketball Champions League Promitheas Patras beat Olimpija 80-76 at Ljubljana, AEK saw off visiting Nymburk by the same score, and PAOK went down 94-77 at Bonn.