Both Panathinaikos and Olympiakos surrendered handsome first-half leads to lose on the road in their Euroleague games, as their hosts, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Red Star Belgrade respectively, proved more resilient and resolute.
Maccabi beat Panathinaikos 88-79 on Thursday despite the Greens leading by up to 18 points early in the second period in Israel (31-13).
The Greek champion had a very productive first half and this carried it through to leading for the game’s first 34 minutes. However the weakness in rebounds and the second consecutive game in which Nick Calathes conceded too many fouls pegged the Greeks down and allowed Maccabi to lead for the first time five-and-a-half minutes from the end and never relinquish their advantage till the end.
Coached by Greek Yiannis Sfairopoulos, who appeared ecstatic with the result, Maccabi outplayed the Greens in the last period during which it enjoyed a partial 23-10 score and deservedly won, to leave Panathinaikos at a 9-6 record.
DeShaun Thomas (24 points) and Ioannis Papapetrou (17 points) stood out among the Greens.
In a very similar fashion, Olympiakos wasted its 15-point lead in Belgrade to go down 88-81 to Red Star on Friday and slump to a 6-9 record.
A great run midway through the second quarter saw Olympiakos pull away 39-24, but this appeared to be a mere blip, as the hosts overturned the situation in the third quarter to advance 63-61 by the 30th minute.
The Piraeus team was unable to contain prolific Lorenzo Brown who scored 34 points and earned nine fouls in less than 30 minutes, to lead Red Star to a comeback victory.
Olympiakos had captain Vassilis Spanoulis on a poor night, with 0/6 triples and a -2 rating, leaving the initiative to Brandon Paul (21 points) and Nikola Milutinov who recorded a triple double of sorts: 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 fouls earned.