Reeling from a loss to its dreaded rival Panathinaikos, and playing without sharpshooting captain Vassilis Spanoulis, European basketball champions Olympiakos took another loss, this one 78-74 at Fenerbahce/Ulker in Turkey, likely spoiling a chance to finish atop its Euroleague group standings.
Olympiakos now even in the standings with Panathinaikos as well as Fenerbahce, with Malaga in third. The Reds are 4-4 in the division play, a disappointing result for the current title holders across Europe. There are six more rounds of games to play and the top four from each group of eight advance to the playoffs.
Led by former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, Fenerbahce held off the visitors in a tight game that could have gone either way, showing how much the Greek team missed its star player and best shooter.
Olympiakos led 23-21 after one period and was trailing only 41-38 at the half, but came out poorly after the break and fell behind 59-51 after three. They rallied to cut a 68-59 deficit to 76-74, but just fell short.
Coach Giorgos Bartzokas got little out of Mardy Collins, Brent Petway, and Jamario Moon, nor Cedric Simmons were able to help the Piraeus team, that had to rely on Stratos Perperoglou and Costas Sloukas (17 points each) on the night.