ATHENS – Olympiacos took 20 lead in its bestofs

ATHENS – Olympiacos took 20 lead in its bestofs

first_imgATHENS – Olympiacos took 2-0 lead in its best-of-seven Greek Basket League finals against Panathinaikos, beating the depleted Greens, 76-69.The Reds can clinch the title and bragging rights between the country’s dominant powers and “eternal enemies,” with a win in game three on Jan. 14.Panathinaikos has won 11 of the last 12 championships, its skein broken only when Olympiacos won in the 2012 finals, another in the long series of heated competition between the teams, whose fans hate each other.In the last 22 years, only AEK, which won in 2002, has broken a string of either Olympiacos, with six titles, and Panathinaikos, with 15, taking the title.Panathinakos, hit by injuries and suspension to a star player, led 26-24 early in the game but never caught up after that as Olympiacos clamped down on defense.With Olympiacos leading 65-56, Panathinaikos made a last run behind center Loukas Mavrokefalidis and cut the lead to only two points before fizzling.Mavrokefalidis was the top scorer with 28 points, while Giorgos Printezis got 17 for Olympiacos. The teams usual stars didn’t play well as Panathinaikos’ Dimitris Dimantidis scored only four points and Olympiacos sharpshooter Vassilis Spanoulis had just 11.The biggest surprise though was that the Olympiacos fans, instead of taunting their rivals or resorting to violence, a common occurrence when they meet, applauded Panathinaikos, apparently understanding they were playing without a top-flight squad and were fighting gamely.In the battle for the third spot Aris leveled the series 1-1 with a 92-88 home win on Tuesday behind closed doors.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img

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