Will Olympiacos – Panathinaikos be a derby?

Peace And Friendship Stadium will host on March 31, 2023, one of the most unfriendly basketball derbies, between the 2 Greek powerhouses Olympiakos and Panathinaikos.

For The Greens, this Euroleague season is a sad memory, they were always far from the playoff spots and they also lost the current championship fight with Olympiakos. The 3 victories with Zvezda, Lyon and Bayern in the last 4 rounds of the Euroleague are only a pale consolation. After 31 rounds, they are in 16th place with 11 wins and 20 defeats. In the first match of this week, they managed to win against Bayern 86-76, the main scorers were Papagiannis with 24 points, and 11 rebounds; Thomas with 12 points and Lee with 10 points, and 11 assists. In this Euroleague season, only 3 players are in double digits in average scoring for Panathinaikos: Dwayne Bacon 16.6 ppg, Derrick Williams 12.8 ppg and Paris Lee 11.00 ppg.

The Red Whites are close to the end of a dream season. With a record of 22 victories and 9 defeats, they occupy first place in the Euroleague and in the national league, they have 20 victories and no defeats. The last defeat at home was in 2022 in a match with Crvena Zvezda and since then 15 consecutive victories in all competitions. This week they won easily in the first match played at home with Lyon 81-55, Mckissis 11 points, Walkup 11 points and Papanikolaou 10 points were the main scorers. Isaiah Kanaan was absent in this match as he was away in the USA due to the birth of his second child. Sasha Vezenkov with 17.5 points; 7.1 rebounds and Kostas Sloukas 10.6 points; 6.2 assists are the team leaders.

A derby of pride is announced on Friday evening, Panathinaikos will try to break the streak of 12 consecutive victories achieved by Olympiakos in front of them but they will have an extremely difficult mission against the leader of the Euroleague, the team motivated to keep its first place and invincibility in the derby.

Valentin Petruta

Image credit: EuroLeague