Panathinaikos triumphed in Piraeus over Olympiakos on Friday, against the odds, with its 88-77 win also covering the Greens’ deficit in the two teams’ head-to-head in the Euroleague.
The Reds had won by seven in the first game between the two Greek rivals, but in the Friday game at the Peace and Friendship Stadium the Greens were the boss from start to finish.
Panathinaikos coach Oded Kattash opted for a tall lineup to make up for the absence of its top scorer, Nemanja Nedovic, while the Reds missed Kostas Papanikolaou and Sasha Vezenkov. The front line of the visitors was so impressive that the Panathinaikos rebound tally was twice as high as the hosts’ (38 against 19).
After Olympiakos’ only lead in the game at 7-4, Panathinaikos pulled away with 13 consecutive points (17-7) and never relinquished its lead, even when the Reds came within striking distance at 61-59.
The Greens’ impeccable record in free throws (25/25) and the stunning showing by guards Howard Sant-Roos (20 points, five assists) and Lefteris Bochoridis (15 points, four assists) left the out-of-form Reds with little chance of turning things around to beat their eternal rival. Shaquielle McKissic’s 20 points were not enough for them.
This was Olympiakos’ fourth loss in a row that has brought to the 11th place and an 11-13 record, while Panathinaikos improved to joint 14th with 9-14.