Papanikolaou spares Reds home loss to Baskonia

Olympiakos and Panathinaikos started another tough week in the Euroleague with important home wins over Baskonia and Bayern Munich respectively.

The Reds needed the extra five minutes to down Baskonia 91-87 on Tuesday after snatching a level score in regulation time courtesy of a Costas Papanikolaou triple two seconds from time.

The Greek star was inspiring on the night at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, in what generally was a poor performance for the Greek team that trailed the Basques for almost the entire regulation time.

Playing without ill Nikola Milutinov, who spent the night in hospital, Olympiakos was quite disappointing in the first three quarters, after which it trailed 62-55, but rallied to a 25-18 partial score in the last quarter to send the game to overtime.

In the extra five minutes Olympiakos was a changed team, brimming with confidence having escaped defeat right at the death, and swept Baskonia for a relatively easy win in the end.

Zach LeDay led the scorers with 23 points, while Papanikolaou had 22 with 0/3 two-pointers but 6/7 triples.

Olympiakos is now on an 11-6 record, tied with Anadolu Efes in fourth.

Playing without injured Keith Langford and Thanassis Antetokounmpo, Panathinaikos edged out Bayern 77-67 on Wednesday for its eighth victory in 17 games.

The Greens led from start to finish at a half-full Olympic Sports Hall, but continued to show some frailties in defense, free throws and triple shots. However Bayern was not on a good night, allowing the Greek champion to get away with its haphazard game in defense.

Coach Rick Pitino had five players in double digits, led by Ioannis Papapetrou with a Euroleague career-high of 18 points, and Nick Calathes who had 14 points and 11 assists.

This win is crucial for Panathinaikos that is now tied with Bayern on an 8-9 record but has a superior head-to-head record to the Bavarians, having lost by just one point in Munich.

The Euroleague continues for the Greek teams with Olympiakos visiting Real Madrid on Thursday and Panathinaikos traveling to Barcelona on Friday.

Panathinaikos has also agreed terms with former Brooklyn Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick, the first signing of the Pitino era.

In the Basketball Champions League AEK lost 77-73 at Bamberg, PAOK saw off visiting Holon 92-77 and Promitheas defeated Bayreuth 95-83 in Patra.

Source EKATHIMERINI
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