SPORTS

Greens edge closer to a play-off spot while the Reds drift away

greens-edge-closer-to-a-play-off-spot-while-the-reds-drift-away

Panathinaikos came from behind to beat Bayern Munich in Athens on Wednesday and consolidate itself in the top-eight of the Euroleague, while Olympiakos saw its faint hopes of a play-off spot all but vanish after its home loss to Alba Berlin.

The Greens beat Bayern 98-83 at the Olympic Sports Hall and have risen to an 11-8 record, staying sixth on the Euroleague table.

After a 19-2 monster lead at the start of the game, Panathinaikos turned wobbly in defense to allow in 35 points in the second quarter for a 53-53 half-time result.

Panathinaikos continues to have problems in defending triples, and on this occasion Bayern scored six from six outside the line after half-time to advance by nine (70-61).

When the German team missed the first one, their mind blocked, Panathinaikos turned things around again and scored a partial 28-7 (for 89-77) to take the game beyond the visitors thanks to its tightened defense and the Germans’ frustration.

DeShaun Thomas was instrumental to the Greek champions’ win with 18 points and nine rebounds, followed by Ioannis Papapetrou with 13 points and nine rebounds too. Giorgos Papagiannis was also precious with his rebounds and defending.

Olympiakos, in turn, let its fans down once again losing 93-86 to Alba in piraeus on Tuesday on the return of Giorgos Bartzokas on its bench.

The Reds were in control until the Berlin team started firing from the 6.75-meter line (56 percent in total) in the second period. The Germans scored 31 points in Q2, leading 50-42 at half-time, and bounced back even when Olympiakos briefly regained the lead, to fend off their last-gasp effort to snatch the game.

The over-reliance on Vassilis Spanoulis had the all-time top scorer in the Euroleague tired in the crucial last few minutes while Alba proved more collected than expected to hold on to its small advantage and stretch it to seven points by the end for its second win in as many games in Greece this season.

Nikola Milutinov and Giorgos Printezis made 15 points each, with Spanoulis notching up 14 in 33 minutes.

Olympiakos is now on a 7-12 record, ranking 13th among 18 teams.