Panellinios scores its first Eurocup win, Maroussi loses

Panellinios scored its first win in basketball’s Eurocup, beating the weakest side in the group, Bnei Hasharon, 85-70 in Athens last night. The hosts faced a strong challenge from the Israeli side in the first half, leading 41-40 at halftime. Yet the third period saw Panellinios score 23 points against just 10 that took the game beyond the visitors. Later last night, in the same group, Aris was hosting Turk Telekom. Maroussi lost 84-70 at ASK Riga last night after trailing for most of the game in Latvia. Maroussi now has one win in three games, the same as Panellinios. All three Greek clubs face tough tasks for the Euroleague today and tomorrow as the group stage of the competition enters its final stretch. Olympiakos leads its group with five wins from six games but tonight visits Unicaja Malaga in Spain (at 9.45 p.m.) who are just a point behind the Greeks in the table. Coach Panayiotis Yiannakis will have to make do without his injured players Panayiotis Vassilopoulos and Zoran Erceg. Even if it loses, Olympiakos must try to protect the 11-point lead it obtained from the first clash between the two teams in October. Earlier tonight (7.15 p.m.) Panionios faces the might of European champion CSKA Moscow in Russia, hoping to avoid a defeat that would be embarrassing for the team. What is more important for Panionios is the outcome of the clash between Real Madrid and Partizan Belgrade as both teams are level on points with Panionios. Tomorrow evening (9.45 p.m.) Panathinaikos hosts fellow group leader Barcelona at the Olympic Sports Hall in Athens, aiming to banish memories of the shameful defeat it suffered in the match between the two teams in Spain in October, when Barcelona won by 24 points (90-66). Antonis Fotsis and Nikola Pekovic are doubtful for Panathinaikos.

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