Panathinaikos, Olympiakos Stay Alive

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares ATHENS – Down 2-0 in Euroleague quarter-final play, Greece’s leading basketball teams Olympiakos and Panathinaikos returned home on April 21 needing wins to stay alive in their best-of-series and managed to hang on.After being drubbed previously, Panathinaikos defeated CSKA Moscow 65-59 while Olympiakos, the two-time defending European champion, edged Real Madrid, 78-76 before delirious fans. The next games in both series are scheduled for April 23. Panathinaikos had the easier time of it, running off to a 25-13 lead and keeping in front the rest of the match apart from the Russian team taking a brief 59-58 lead only to be shut out the rest of the way.The Greens played tough on defense led by Stephane Lasme and Antonis Fotsis, along with Zack Wright, a Texan who has Bosnian heritage. Lasme scored 13 points and Wright added 10. Dimitris Diamantidis distributed five assists to become the player with the highest number of career assists in the history of the Euroleague, overtaking another Greek, Thodoris Papaloukas.At Peace and Friendship Stadium, Olympiakos showed some spunk to avoid being embarrassed by a sweep after winning the Euroleague titles in 2012 and 2013.The Reds were led by New York’s Bryant Dunston, a 6-8, 252-lb. power forward who was unstoppable, scoring 21 points and showing an indomitable presence.Olympiakos led 23-15 after one period and 45-38 at the half, buoyed by a raucous crowd that seemed to get under the skins of the Spanish team.The quicker Real Madrid players managed to grab a lead only 40 seconds before the finish but Olympiakos came back to grab the critical win, with captain Vassilis Spanoulis adding 17 points.last_img read more