Panathinaikos stages big comeback for win

European champion Panathinaikos, at one point trailing by 17 points, staged a spirited recovery to defeat visiting Partizan Belgrade 67-65 in its second Round of 16 Group D game in the Euroleague. Panathinaikos needed the win after losing at Efes Pilsen last week. Aris remained without a win after two Round of 16 games following an 89-74 defeat at Lietuvos Rytas. It was the Thessaloniki team’s sixth successive defeat in all competitions. Despite slightly outscoring the hosts in the third and final quarters, Aris was unable to offset a poor first period, which ended with the Lithuanians 27-11 ahead. Needing to rebound from a home defeat last week against Maccabi in newly appointed coach Panayiotis Yiannakis’s Euroleague debut with the club, Olympiakos faces a demanding task against Real Madrid in a Group F game to be played tonight in Spain. Real Madrid earned a hard-fought victory against Zalgiris in its Round of 16 opener.