Olympiacos takes Greek derby thriller, 77-79, from Panathinaikos!

first_imgOne of world basketball’s greatest rivalries lived up to the hype on Friday with a spectacular thriller that visiting Olympiacos Piraeus took by 77-79 from archrivals Panathinaikos Athens with a classic connection in the final seconds. Vassilis Spanoulis controlled the final possession for Olympiacos, driving toward the lane then feeding his long-time partner Georgios Printezis for a layup and free throw that decided the outcome. The result broke a tie in the standings between them, raising Olympiacos to a 5-3 record and dropping Panathinaikos to 4-4. Spanoulis finished with 22 points and 8 assists for the winners, while Printezis had 16 and Daniel Hackett 11. Nick Calathes led the Greens with 16 points and 9 assists, while Chris Singleton and K.C. Rivers scored 14 each, and Antonis Fotsis 13. Olympiacos controlled the game until Panathinaikos rallied to lead 76-72 on the 300th career triple by Fotsis with 2:16 to play. Free throws by Spanoulis and a steal plus basket by Printezis tied the score before the final play between them settled it in favor of the visitors. Panathinaikos played without James Gist, who was injured in the previous game, as well as Mike James, out since preseason.Khem Birch was the early protagonist for Olympiacos as he dropped 2 shots in close to open the scoring and soon was fed by Spanoulis for a pair of dunks. When Vangelis Mantzaris blasted a triple, Olympiacos had a 6-11 lead. Triples from Fotsis and James Feldeine changed the scoreboard from deep, then Spanoulis and Singleton did the same as their four triples in succession left a 17-16 Panathinaikos lead. The lead change hands by the shot until it was a 23-23 tie after 10 minutes. Hackett came off the bench with a layup, a corner triple and a short jumper to give Olympiacos a 0-9 start to the second quarter and a 23-30 advantage. Another series of back-and-forth three-pointers by Spanoulis Singleton, Erick Green, Ioannis Bourousis and Spanoulis again highlighted the run to halftime. Spanoulis’s last of four triples on the night supplied the first double-digit lead at 35-45, while Printezis scored right before the half to preserve a 39-47 advantage for the visitors. Calathes led the charge as Panathinaikos climbed back into it after the break. There were dueling shots from deep again as Rivers made his first pair, but Hackett shot a rainbow from the arc to keep Olympiacos up 55-61. Calathes hit one to get the Greens closer and Fotsis another to tie before a Nikos Pappas layup ahead of the third-quarter buzzer restored the first Panathinaikos lead since the first quarter, 63-61. Matt Lojeski’s triple opened the final quarter with another lead change, 63-64. Despite another shot from downtown by Ioannis Papapetrou, Pappas hit free throws and a layup to tie 67-67. Papapetrou and Spanoulis put the Reds up 67-71 midway through the quarter, but Rivers stepped up and swished back-to-back threes to suddenly catapult the Greens in front and the next one by Fotsis made it 76-72 with 2 minutes left. Spanoulis and Printezis took matters into their hands, helped by a decision to foul Calathes, who made 1 of 2 free throws with 26 seconds left, for the last Panathinaikos lead. There was one possession left, and once again, the leaders of Olympiacos decided a major win.Source: EuroleagueTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more