Olympiacos undermine Panathinaikos comeback in Overtime

Olympiacos undermine Panathinaikos comeback in Overtime


Panathinaikos 85 - 87 (OT) Olympiacos
(18 - 16)
(34 - 43)
(50 - 62)
(71 - 71)
(85 - 87)

Panathinaikos were handed just their second defeat at OAKA this season as Olympiacos edged their arch-rivals in a overtime thriller in the Greek capital…

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The Eternal Derby once again got the EuroLeague treatment on Friday night, but this time it ended with Olympiacos taking derby honors thanks to an 87-85 win in overtime.
Trailing for most of the game, Panathinaikos made a massive comeback in the fourth quarter to force overtime; however, a professional effort from Olympiacos, which included a massive dagger from Brian Roberts, saw Panathinaikos stumble to just their second defeat at home this season.
Roberts led Olympiacos with 18 points, with the American guard going a perfect 5/5 on the night – including 4/4 shooting from three-point range. Vassilis Spanoulis and Georgios Printezis each tallied 15 points on the night, though most of their damage was done in regulation.
Nick Calathes again led by example for Panathinaikos as the Greek international notched 23 points and 10 assists for another trademark double-double. Meanwhile, teammate James Gist gave Olympiacos all they can handle as he posted 21 points – including a massive dunk to cap Panathinaikos comeback in the fourth quarter.
Panathinaikos held a two-point advantage at the end of the first quarter (18-16) but trailed for most of the game following the first frame as Olympiacos began to dictate proceedings.
A dominant 27-16 run by Olympiacos in the second frame blew the game wide-open at 43-34 by halftime.
The Olympiacos lead grew to double-digits in the third quarter as Yiannis Sfairopoulos’ men pulled ahead with a score 62-50 heading into the fourth quarter.
A strong pep-talk from Xavi Pascual got Panathinaikos back in their groove to start the fourth quarter as the Trifylli pulled closer and closer with every possession, before holding a slim lead in the later part of the quarter.
With their massive lead now evaporated, Olympiacos did well to keep pushing and managed to tie the game late in the fourth quarter; however, an offensive miscue gave Panathinaikos the chance to win the game at the buzzer.
Recent acquisition, Mike James, drove the ball up the court for Panathinaikos, but a costly mistake from the American guard allowed Olympiacos to recover the loose ball as the clock wound down on regulation time.
In overtime, it was Panathinaikos who pulled in-front first, but a pesky Olympiacos side found their feet in the extra frame thanks to a massive three-pointer from Roberts.
The Piraeus giants continued the pressure on their hosts, and with Panathinaikos failing to keep their discipline, Olympiacos managed to turn the tables and pull ahead in the dying moments.
A chance for James to redeem himself in overtime didn’t go to plan after a trip to the free-throw line was one to forget for the Panathinaikos guard. With just a couple of second remaining in overtime, Panathinaikos trailed by three points (87-84) as James looked to score the first of his two free throws and force a miss on the second in order to win-back possession to tie the game.
Unfortunately for James, his efforts didn’t go to plan as he missed his first free-throw attempt before sinking his second attempt – effectively handing Olympiacos possession for an inbound and sealing the result in favour of the Erythrolefki.
The win sees Olympiacos end a run of five straight losses to Panathinaikos in all competitions, while also clinching a spot in the EuroLeague playoffs.
At 17-7, Olympiacos remain in a tie for second-place with Fenerbahce and still trail league leaders CSKA Moscow by two games for first place.
Panathinaikos are now 14-10 on the season in the EuroLeague, and currently find themselves in a three-way tie for fifth place along with Real Madrid and Khimki Moscow Region. Back-to-back losses in the EuroLeague for just the second-time season sees the Trifylli at risk of losing out on a home advantage berth in the playoffs.
Both Olympiacos and Panathinaikos return to domestic action this weekend, but focus will certainly be on the EuroLeague with Olympiacos keen to extend a four-game winning streak on the continent when Brose Bamberg visit Piraeus.
Meanwhile, Panathinaikos have yet another crucial fixture lined up when the Trifylli travel to Madrid to take on Spanish giants Real Madrid in what will be a vital game for Pascual and company.


by Peter Katsiris
Image Source: SDNA.gr
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