Euroleague trio battle for leads in respective groups

Olympiakos is hosted by CSKA Moscow tonight in a Euroleague Group A basketball game that pits two teams striving to take a clear lead in the group’s standings. The Piraeus club and its host are two of five sides currently locked in top spot with 2-1 records in Group A. Both Olympiakos and CSKA Moscow suffered their respective defeats at Union Olimpija, also on a 2-1 record and due to meet Zalgiris in Lithuania tomorrow. Olympiakos will face CSKA, last season’s runner-up, without Arvydas Macijauskas, the Greek club’s top performer so far this season, who has been sidelined by a hand injury. Also out is Iakovos Tsakalidis with a foot injury. The Piraeus club will be relying on extra efforts from big men Marc Jackson, Qyntel Woods, and Lynn Greer to make up for Macijauskas’s absence. «We’re up against a major club with great players and an excellent coach. The clash in Moscow may well be the toughest game for my team so far this season and it will definitely offer us the opportunity to test our strengths,» said Olympiakos guard Milos Teodosic. «We’ve achieved two easy wins in the Euroleague as well as in the Greek league but the game against CSKA cannot be compared. We’re going to have to improve greatly to return home as winners,» he continued. CSKA goes into the game having lost last week at Union Olimpija as well as in domestic competition. Also tonight, Thessaloniki club Aris and Lietuvos Rytas, two of four teams still undefeated after three rounds of Euroleague first-stage group play, will meet in Lithuania for outright first place in Group B. «Lietuvos Rytas are definitely a good side, like all teams competing in the Euroleague. We’re not afraid of them and know very well that it’s going to be a difficult night,» said Aris forward Jeremiah Massey. «For us, it’s another game that we want to win.» Defending champion Panathinaikos, currently the co-leader in Group C on a 3-0 record along with Real Madrid, plays tomorrow, at home against Barcelona in Group C. The Spanish visitor has won two of its three games.