Panathinaikos defeated the Euroleague’s bottom team, Valencia, in Athens on Friday after Olympiakos suffered one more home reverse, to Anadolu Efes on Thursday.
The Greens are on a positive record for the first time in this season’s Euroleague (4-3) after downing Valencia 91-80 at the Olympic Sports Hall.
Unlike in the previous match with Anadolu Efes, Panathinaikos relied mainly on its offense, advancing 26-18 after 10 minutes and 45-35 at half-time.
A flurry of triples, mainly by red-hot Jordan Loyd, saw Valencia stage a third-quarter comeback to even edge ahead (62-61), but the Greeks were not to be denied, as they tightened their defense in the last quarter and improved their teamwork to win comfortably in the end.
Nick Calathes marginally missed out on a triple double, notching up 13 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. DeShaun Thomas was the top scorer with 19 points.
Before the start of the game Panathinaikos honored its previous coach, Rick Pitino who is in Athens to start coaching the Greek national team. Greens owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos presented Pitino with a golden shamrock.
Olympiakos went down 86-67 in Piraeus to a superior Anadolu Efes and has slumped to a 2-5 record.
The Reds played well for the first and the third period, but were desperately absent in the rest of the game, with the Istanbul team scoring at will for long spells of the game, including a 32-11 partial score in the second quarter.
With barely 5,000 fans at the stands of the Peace and Friendship Stadium Olympiakos had little chance to reverse the 18-point half-time deficit (53-35), and when it halved the distance after 30 minutes (67-58) the visitors responded with another great spell to win by 19 in the end.
Brandon Paul made 15 points and Giorgos Printezis added 14 on a bad night primarily for the Reds’ defense.