Vital road win for the Greens at Zalgiris

Vital road win for the Greens at Zalgiris

Panathinaikos produced an important road win at Zalgiris Kaunas for the Euroleague on Tuesday, while Olympiakos let its lead at Bayern slip through its hands to lose in Munich.

The Greens very nearly blew their 16-point lead, with captain Nick Calathes fouled out in the end, but eventually held on to a precious win that effectively cancels out the home loss to Alba Berlin last Thursday.

Panathinaikos led for almost the entire match at Kaunas, always a tricky place to visit, grabbing an eight-point advantage at half-time (41-33) and stretching it to 16 points (51-35) halfway through the third period.

Zalgiris set up a tense finish to the game scoring 32 points in the last period, but the players of interim coach Giorgos Vovoras held on for a win by a single point in the end, despite trailing in rebounds (38 to 31) and suffering great pressure from the Lithuanian defense.

The win takes Panathinaikos to a 5-4 record and will make its owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos start considering whether his caretaking coach should stay on for good.

Calathes ended the game early, a minute and a half before time with five fouls, but also with 19 points and 12 assists.

Contrary to Panathinaikos, Olympiakos did blow its own 12-point lead that it had nine minutes from the end to go down 85-82 at Bayern Munich.

After a slow start for the Reds’ defense in Germany, with Bayern leading 23-17 after the first period, Olympiakos stopped being so soft, with a great overplay on Maodo Lo to lead 44-43 at half-time and 63-55 at the end of Q3.

Bayern gave the Greeks a taste of their own medicine, stopping the Olympiakos attacks in the last nine minutes to turn a 67-55 Greek advantage to a clear lead in the end through a partial score of 30-15.

Wade Baldwin made 19 points for the Piraeus team, as Giorgos Printezis and Nikola Milutinov had 12 each.

The Reds are now on a 3-6 record and will spend the rest of the week in Germany as they will also have to face Alba in Berlin on Thursday. Panathinaikos will also visit Bayern, on Friday.

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