The Greek-Spanish battles of this week in the Euroleague ended with a 1-1 score, as only Olympiakos got to score a Greek win, playing at home, while Panathinaikos suffered another road loss.
Olympiakos beat Baskonia 80-70 on Thursday in Piraeus to rise above it at the standings, on a 9-13 record.
The Reds owe their victory to their improved defense in the second half, to Augustine Rubit (19 points, seven rebounds) and newcomer Octavius Ellis (11 points, seven rebounds).
In front of fewer than 6,000 fans at the Peace and Friendship Stadium Olympiakos led 43-37 at half-time and built on its lead in the second half.
In the absence of Giorgos Printezis, Vassilis Spanoulis flew alone the Greek flag making 16 points plus four assists, as the hosts were always on top without allowing the Basques ever to dispute their supremacy.
There was some bad news for Olympiakos though as another newcomer, Vassilis Haralambopoulos injured his knee and will likely miss the next few months’ action. Then on Friday the Euroleague imposed on Olympiakos a temporary transfer ban for 30 days due to expired debts.
Panathinaikos went down 94-87 at Valencia on Friday for its ninth loss in 22 games and stayed sixth, one win behind Maccabi Tel Aviv.
The Greek champion paid once again for its poor defending of distance shots, with Valencia often scoring at will outside the 6.75-meter line.
The Spaniards were on the driving seat for virtually the entire game except a short three-point lead by the Greens in the first half that ended 55-45, with Bojan Dubljevic (19 points) doing a large part of the damage.
A disastrous spell with a 15-2 partial score for the hosts in the last few minutes of the third quarter to 80-64 seemingly took the game beyond the Greens. Yet they bounced back with 13 unanswered points at the start of Q4 (80-77) and equalized at 82-82, only to succumb to a seven-point loss in the end.
Nick Calathes had another double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds before being fouled out, while Tyrese Rice added another 21 points.