As the first group stage of the Euroleague is nearing its conclusion, with two rounds of games left to play, it becomes ever clearer that Olympiakos and Panathinaikos are growing stronger by the week.
This week Olympiakos came from behind to down Armani Milano and consolidate its place at the top of its group, while Panathinaikos has beaten its group’s leader, Barcelona, and is mighty close not just to qualifying to the second round but also to clinching the third spot in the group.
Olympiakos had a hard time on Thursday beating Armani that led in the first half and threatened Olympiakos with a home loss. However the Greeks won 73-63 as their quality told despite the absence of Vassilis Spanoulis.
The Reds are also sweating over Matt Lojeski who got injured and is likely to sit out the next three or four weeks. They have also agreed terms with forward Shawn James who has left Bilbao Basket.
Panathinaikos broke a nine-game losing streak with Barcelona and beat the Catalans 93-86 on Friday after a spectacular home performance, led by its captain, Dimitris Diamantidis, scorer of 20 points. The Greens led throughout the game and fended off the Blaugrana fightback – that cut the distance to one point (71-70) – to score their fourth win in eight games.
The Greens will host Zielona Gora next and if they win they will probably need to defend a 35-point lead at Zalgiris Kaunas to finish third and avoid entering Olympiakos’s group in the second round.
In the Eurocup on Wednesday PAOK scored a huge win over Besiktas in Istanbul with a 75-73 score, Aris saw off Unics Kazan 76-70 and AEK went down 86-79 at Nizhny Novgorod.