Tonight will see another edition of The Continent’s traditionally most insane of all derby matches in Athens as Panathinaikos hosts Olympiacos at 7pm local time (6pm CET; noon EST). European basketball fans have come to know what to expect from whichever side of fans packs the house for a Greens vs. Reds war, namely this just for starters…
…which has more than once become stuff like what’s at about 5:10 into this video…
…but PAO coach Zeljko Obradovic is urging some restraint for this particular match.
Obradovic was quoted over at the official EΣAKE website as stating, “Once again, I would ask Panathinaikos [fans] to keep calm and come to the arena to help the team … in a purely sporting atmosphere without problems. This is most important.” We’ll see.
Panathinaikos is currently two points behind their rivals in the EΣAKE standings, though they’re 3-0 in Greek league play thus far. Olympiacos is a perfect 4-0, in perfect contrast to the Reds’ disappointing 2-3 Euroleague performance.
And speaking of Euroleague, Obradovic wants to make clear that the defending champions’ recent shocking 79-76 loss to Brose Baskets Bamberg is irrelevant to tonight’s match: “We know that we’re coming off a defeat in the Euroleague, but the struggles with Bamberg has nothing whatsoever to do with [the] game against Olympiakos. It’s a totally different situation, a completely different match.”
Team Lithuania’s Sarunas Jasikevicius, who knows a few things about wacky (if not quite so aggressive) fandom, added that “These games are amazing. Especially when you’re playing [at home], in your own world.”