Panathinaikos Take Derby...Advantage Stays With Olympiacos

-- Panathinaikos Take Derby...Advantage Stays With Olympiacos --


Panathinaikos 72 - 59 Olympiacos
(12 - 20)
(31 - 28)
(48 - 45)
(72 - 59)

After knocking out Olympiacos earlier this month in the Greek Cup semi-finals, Panathinaikos defeated their eternal rivals 72-59 in Round 15 of the Greek Basket League. The win brings Panathinaikos’ record to 14-1, tied with Olympiacos, but the Erythrolefki hold the tiebreaker advantage from their 25-point win over the Prasini earlier this season in league play.

Panathinaikos hosted their big rivals, Olympiacos, for the 15th round of the Greek Basket League regular season. The Prasini needed a win to increase their record to 14-1, which would bring them tied with Olympiacos atop the standings. However, Olympiacos defeated Panathinaikos by 25-points in their first encounter earlier this season, a difference that would be hard to overcome by the Prasini in today’s match at the Nick Galis Olympic Indoor Hall.

The Erythrolefki got off to a good start and took an early lead in the first quarter (12-18) before a 14-0 run to start the second period put Panathinaikos ahead by three points at halftime (31-28). Olympiacos faced many injury problems coming into today’s game and things got worse when captain Vassilis Spanoulis was taken out of the match in the first half and would not return.

A dead even third quarter followed as Panathinaikos maintained their 3-point advantage going into the final 10 minutes (48-45).

Panathinaikos began the fourth quarter with a 5-0 run as Olympiacos seemed to run out of options on the bench. The hosts continued to dominate the final period and increased their lead to as many as 16-points (63-47) with just over four minutes to play. The result was not in doubt for the Prasini as they looked to overcome the 25-point deficit from their loss at the Stadio Eirinis kai Filias earlier this season. However, Olympiacos held onto the advantage at the end, as Panathinaikos won 72-59. The 13-point win is Panathinaikos’ biggest margin of victory over Olympiacos in 7 years.

KC Rivers put on yet another amazing performance against Olympiacos this season, finishing the game with 26-points while Singleton and James added 20 and 12 points, respectively. Printezis was the leading scorer for Olympiacos with 14 points. Papanikolaou (13 points) and Milutinov (11 points) also finished the game with double digit points.

Today's loss is Olympiacos’ first of the season in the Greek Basket League as both teams now sit with a 14-1 record atop the standings. Olympiacos maintain the tiebreaker advantage after today’s loss by 13 points and are the favorites to finish first in the regular season, which leads to homecourt advantage for the playoffs.

Panathinaikos will hope that Olympiacos slip up before the end of the season (to steal first place) with Olympiacos’ toughest test scheduled for March away to third placed AEK.

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