Panathinaikos favorite to top basket group

European basketball champions Panathinaikos will face Montepaschi Siena, Efes Pilsen and Partizan in Group D of the Euroleague’s Top 16 stage. Though the Athens club is the favorite to top its group and advance to the quaterfinals, coach Zeljko Obradovic appeared cautious. «The Euroleague Top 16 is always tough. We’re talking about the best 16 teams of the competition, so who you play against is not important,» he said. Aris and Olympiakos, which both squeezed through to the second stage, can expect tough opposition in Groups E and F, respectively. Aris faces Lietuvos Rytas, Tau Ceramica and Fenerbahce. Olympiakos was drawn against Real Madrid, Maccabi, and Zalgiris.