By Eurohoops team / email@example.com
Panathinaikos made a 13-0 run at the beginning of the fourth period to defeat Bayern Munich 98 – 83 at home and return to wins in EuroLeague. Thanks to this victory Panathinaikos improved its record to 11-9. Bayern suffered its fifth loss in a row to drop to 6 – 13.
DeShaun Thomas scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, seven of them on offense, to lead Panathinaikos. Nick Calathes registered his seventh double-double this season by posting 11 points and 12 assists while Ioannis Papapetrou had 13 points and six boards. Tyrese Rice added 12 points and five assists.
The key was we locked down defensively. My aggressiveness is always to help the team out,” Thomas said to EuroLeague TV. “I have been playing like that my whole career. I have to appreciate teammates for giving me the ball in the right spot, but the key was locking down defensively and we got down in transition and got easy buckets. I got a knack for the ball, especially for the offensive rebounding. That is one of my specialties, going to the offensive glass. I got a rhythm to do that. I started this game and I hope I can continue to do that.”
For Bayern Munich, Greg Monroe had 17 points plus nine rebounds. TJ Bray scored 14 points and dished out five assists in his EuroLeague debut after missing the first part of the season due to injury. The Bavarian side even led by nine, 61 – 70, in the mid of the third period following some superb 3-point shooting (14/22 3-pointers by then). They have recovered from a 28 – 18 deficit at the end of the first quarter to tie the match 53 – 53 at the break.
Panathinaikos’ reaction was strong since the hosts regained the lead at the end of the quarter following buckets by Thomas that helped his team close the period up 76 – 75. Rick Pitino’s players dominated the first minutes of the fourth quarter to reach the last lap of the game with a more than safe advantage.
Pitino was also probably pleased to see his squad outrebounding its opponents 40 – 21 and collecting 19 offensive rebounds in total. Panathinaikos had 17 second-chance points against Bayern’s 12.
In praise of the unsung hero
Panathinaikos center George Papagiannis didn’t have the most impressive numbers (eight points, five rebounds in 18 minutes) of the game but to the eyes of his coach, he was the man to talk about.
“I think I have enjoyed this game as much as any game here because it is all desire that came up with the victory. That, and Papagiannis,” Pitino said in the post-game presser. “Unbelievable play. He just took over the game, his defensively was brilliant, brilliant rebounding the basketball in only 18 minutes of play. I am really proud of him. I told him yesterday he is going to get 5 bocks and 12 rebounds, and he let me down with only 4 blocks and 5 rebounds. But if he would have played normal minutes, he would have had a career night.