Greece A1: Olympiacos downs Panathinaikos

Greece A1

The top two clubs in the Greece A1 League squared off on Monday with the home club Olympiacos (14-1) using a strong second quarter to earn a big win over Panathinaikos (12-3), who now share the second spot in the league with Panionios. Dating back to 1947, the basketball version of the “Derby of the Eternal Enemies” has been played 193 times between the two Greek powerhouses with Panathinaikos holding a 109-84 advantage. The win for the Reds comes on the heels of their first league loss of the 2012-13 season at the hands of PAOK last week and also snaps a 10-game Greece A1 winning streak for Panathinaikos.

The visitors got out to a 4:11 advantage by mid-way through the first quarter, but the hosts countered with a 13:3 run to take the lead 17:14. By the time the horn sounded on the first quarter the Greens had regained a small lead, 20:22. The two clubs found it tough to put any points on the board through the mid-point of the second quarter, only putting up six points each with five minutes left in the half. The hosts put up seven unanswered points during the middle part of the quarter, while Panathinaikos went six solid minutes without finding the cords. Olympiacos outscored their guests 7:2 in the last 90 seconds to head into the intermission up 38:33.

The clubs exchanged baskets through the better part of the third frame until Stratos Perperoglou dropped in a triple for the Reds with just over a minute to play in the quarter to push the margin to 10, 56:46. Panathinakos outscored their hosts 2:6 in the last minute to head into the final 10 only down six, 58:52.

Olympiacos tallied the first four of the last frame, but was countered by a jumper and a dunk by Stephane Lasme. Perperoglou sank a three-ball and Acie Law dropped in a lay-up to give the hosts their biggest margin of the night at 11. The guests were able to cut the lead to seven, then Law split a pair of singles with 15 seconds to play. At the buzzer Dimitris Diamantidis was fouled by Perperoglou behind the arc and he connected on all three singles to cut the advantage to five, 72:67, but still giving Olympiacos their 45th win in the Athens Derby.

Law’s 12 points led Olympiacos, Vassilis Spanoulis contributed 11 points and 7 assists, Georgios Printezis also dropped in 11, and Perperoglou added 10.

Diamantidis paced the guests with 17 points and 6 assists, Sofoklis Schortsanitis dropped in 15, Lasme added 11.

In other Greece A1 contests this week Panionios improved to 12-3 on the season and tied for the No. 2 spot in the league with Panathinaikos with a 69:91 road win over Perristeri, who drops to 5-10 and tied for No. 9 in the lead. N0. 4 PAOK got an 80:85 win on the road against N0. 7 Ikaros. No. 5 AGOR picked up a 71:73 road win over N0. 7 Aris BSA. No. 13 Kabala snuck by No. 14 Panelefsiniakos 68:66. N0. 6 Apollon Patras won on the road 88:101 over No. KAOD. No. 9 Kolossos VAP beat No. 10 Ilysiakos at home 71:63.

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