Olympiakos and Panathinaikos produced two very convincing performances and secured important wins at the start of a double week in the Euroleague, as the Reds edged out host Maccabi in Tel Aviv and the Greens dismissed Villeurbanne in Athens.
Maccabi is always a tough place to visit, but on Tuesday Olympiakos managed to emerge victorious with an 89-87 score even if it needed overtime to do it.
The Piraeus team matched its host that has its former coach Yiannis Sfairopoulos on its bench, and always closed the gap the Israeli team tried to open. The insistence of Maccabi to try triples with a very low success rate (22%) played into the hands of the Greeks who finished the extra five minutes on top after a 73-73 regulation result.
Kostas Sloukas led Olympiakos with his 21 points and 11 assists, having Giannoulis Larentzakis second him with his 13 points.
Olympiakos has moved up to eighth with 10 wins in 18 games.
Panathinaikos, that is still awaiting for the arrival of Israeli coach Oded Kattash, avenged its bad loss in France earlier this season to beat Villeurbanne 88-71 on Wednesday.
The Greens led almost throughout the game, but it was only in the second half that they pulled away from their opponent to produce a convincing win they had desperately needed.
It was a great night for Nemanja Nedovic, who would have matched his 39-point tally in Tel Aviv earlier this season had he played any more than 28 minutes, during which he managed to notch up 33 points. Giorgos Papagiannis was also impressive with 18 points and eight rebounds.
This was the sixth win for Panathinaikos in 18 matches.