Greek basketball can boast this week the top scorer in the history of the Euroleague as well as the triumph of Panathinaikos in Russia against CSKA Moscow in overtime.
Vassilis Spanoulis became on Thursday the all-time leading marksman of the Euroleague, even though his team, Olympiakos, suffered a home loss to Fenerbahce that has left it down to 13th at the table.
Spanoulis has reached 4,157 points, exceeding the record of Juan Carlos Navarro with 4,152 points in the competition. The first 903 of those points were during Spanoulis’ time at Panathinaikos.
However his 14 points on the night did not suffice for the reds to prevent another home loss, this time to Fenerbahce with a 96-87 score, letting down the 10,000 fans that almost filled the Peace and Friendship Stadium.
The fans (as well as the Fenerbahce players and officials) applauded Spanoulis for his feat, but there was little else to be happy about on the night as the Greek defense surrendered to a prolific offense by the Zeljko Obradovic team, that fended off any Greek efforts for a comeback to win handsomely in the end.
Olympiakos is now on a 6-11 record, but archrival Panathinaikos climbed to 10-7 on Friday courtesy of its 106-102 upset of CSKA Moscow in Kaliningrad.
In one of their best games so far this season the players of coach Rick Pitino had tremendous energy in both offense and defense to beat the Russians that usually have a very powerful defense.
Next to MVP Nick Calathes (22 points, 17 assists, nine fouls earned), Panathinaikos was lucky to have a mesmerizing Dinos Mitoglou; in a career-leading performance the Greek forward made 25 points and collected 16 rebounds, including eight offensive ones, to give Pitino the frontman he had missed in previous games.
The Greens led by up to 11 points (60-49) in the third period, CSKA bounced pack to advance 87-81 with two minutes left, but a triple by Calathes six seconds from regulation sent the game to overtime (89-89).
The Greek champions showed increased self-confidence and maturity, led by seven (102-95) with the help of Wesley Johnson’s precious points too, and scored a road win that keeps them on sixth at the table.