Green grief, Red relief

Green grief, Red relief

Panathinaikos blew a 13-point lead and a great chance for an away win at Villeurbanne on Thursday, but Olympiakos produced an emphatic home victory over Valencia on Friday. Both Greek teams are now on a 1-1 record in the Euroleague.

The Greens went down 79-78 at ASVEL due to a disastrous last quarter that undid all that the Greek champion had achieved in the first 30 minutes.

The tight defense of Panathinaikos had it lead 63-50 at the end of the third period and the Greeks were looking good for a second win in as many Euroleague games. However in the last period they conceded 29 points and were unable to react, including the last play of the game when they had 14 seconds to score a winning basket but could not find the target with Nick Calathes.

The Greens paid dearly for their terrible rate in free throws (14/27) and their complacency after the third period, suffering a defeat that may well haunt them in the rest of the season.

DeShaun Thomas excelled for Panathinaikos with 22 points, followed by Jimmer Fredette with 18.

Olympiakos, on the other hand, offered its 7,000-odd fans at the Peace and Friendship Stadium a great show, thrashing Valencia 89-63.

In its first game without coach David Blatt, with caretaking coach Kestutis Kemzura on its bench, Olympiakos shook off the 19-point reverse at Villeurbanne a week earlier to warm the half-empty stands and show it should not be dismissed due to its poor showing in France.

The Reds led from start to finish with a distance that reached up to 33 points, scoring at will particularly in the first half (54-30).

Vassilis Spanoulis and Nikola Milutinov made 17 points each for Olympiakos.

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