Olympiakos scrapes past the underdog

Olympiakos needed to push itself to the limits to survive a major scare from underdog Maroussi last night and advance to the basketball league’s final series against Panathinaikos. Playing the best-of-five semifinal’s decider at home, Olympiakos won 64-63. Maroussi, which led by as much as seven points at one stage, held a 31-30 lead at halftime, but an improved Olympiakos in the third term went into the break ahead 46-37. The visitors fought back to regain a late lead, 59-58. Crucial points from Greece international Panayiotis Vassilopoulos again put Olympiakos ahead, 64-59. With seconds to go, an off-balance shot from Maroussi’s Branko Milisavljevic bounced in and out of the basket. Panathinaikos hosts Olympiakos Saturday in Game 1 of the best-of-five final series.