Tired and without a coach, Panathinaikos suffered an ominous home loss to Armani Milano for the Euroleague on Friday, after Olympiakos predictably defeated visiting Gran Canaria in Piraeus on Thursday.
The Reds completed a clean sweep over the five Spanish teams in the Euroleague, seeing off Gran Canaria 98-77 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium.
In what was probably one of its easiest wins this season in Europe, Olympiakos dominated the match from start to finish, offering its fans some memorable plays and giving the chance to coach David Blatt to rotate his players.
With a 19-point lead at half-time (52-33) that later expanded further, the match was always Olympiakos’s to win. It was a fitting end to a positive pre-Christmas run for the Piraeus team in the league and in Europe.
The Reds had six players score more than 10 points, led by Vassilis Spanoulis with 21, to record their ninth win in 14 games and climb to the fourth spot on the table.
One day after the departure of coach Xavi Pascual, Panathinaikos suffered a painful loss at home to Milano with an 86-83 score that does not bode well at all for its future in the competition.
After a positive first quarter (23-21 in its favor), Panathinaikos seemed to shut down at the start of the other periods, with only Nick Calathes trying to keep the Greens within striking distance.
The ego of the hosts responded when the Italian team advanced by 15 (61-46) late in the third quarter, and turned a seemingly lost game into a tight contest. Panathinaikos went as close as one point in the end (84-83), but some poor plays in attack and a couple (or more) referee decisions denied it a full comeback.
Calathes had 24 points and 11 assists, having also to make up for the injury to Keith Langford, who limped off the court.
This was Panathinaikos’s eighth loss in 14 matches, taking it down to 11th in the Euroleague.