Can PAO continue the winning streak against Zalgiris?

Panathinaikos Athens will host Zalgiris Kaunas on Tuesday evening in a game that counts for Round 18 of the EuroLeague. The game was initially scheduled to be played in December, but it was suspended because of Covid.

After the EuroLeague shareholders decided yesterday to ban the three Russian teams from the competition because of the war in Ukraine, some teams moved up in the standings and suddenly improved their chances of advancing to the playoffs. However, in the case of both Panathinaikos and Zalgiris, the playoff chances are still close to zero as both teams had an extremely poor season so far, so they will only fight for their honour.

On a more positive note, both ”green and white” teams are on a two-game winning streak in the EuroLeague. PAO won in Lyon and at home against Zvezda, while Zalgiris won a thriller in Monaco and then absolutely destroyed Real Madrid with a stunning defense, allowing just 47 points against one of the best teams in Europe.

In the first meeting of the season between the two teams back in November, Zalgris won 76-69. Since then some changes were made in PAO’s roster and like I previously mentioned, the teams improved lately, so it will be a different game and it’s hard to predict the outcome. Panathinaikos is favourite on all the betting sites as the game will be played in OAKA, but Zalgiris also looks to be in a good shape since they destroyed Real Madrid in the last game.

Even if none of these two teams will catch a playoff spot this season the battle will be attractive and I am sure the audience will be huge because it’s about squads very loved in Europe. Thousands of Greeks and Lithuanians will watch this encounter as a spectacular derby between two Euroleague former glories. 

Imre Halasz

Image: Panathinaikos BC