By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Valencia and Panathinaikos had a close battle in “La Fonteta” and a contest that looked that could go either way for 32 minutes. It was then when the hosts kept their opponents scoreless for four minutes and proceeded to establish a double-digit lead before ultimately winning 95 – 83.
Five players scored in double figures for Valencia, including Klemen Prepelic who dropped a EuroLeague career-high 18 plus six assists. Derrick Williams added 14 points, Martin Hermansson 13, Mike Tobey 11 and Fernando San Emeterio 11 as well.
” I am new in the team and getting used to it.” Prepelic said. “Obviously, coaches and teammates are helping me on a daily basis and I am trying to take adavntage of it, but this is less important. The important is that we have a very good start of the season and I hope we are going to keep on going like that.”
In the meantime, Bojan Dubljevic (nine points, six assists) climbed to the top spot of Valencia’s all-time scoring leaders in all club competitions, surpassing former captain Rafa Martinez.
“First thing is that we got the win,” Dubljevic said after the game. “No real word can describe how I feel now. I’m very proud. To become the first scorer for a club is something unbelievable.” His team improved to 5-4 with this victory.
"No word can describe how I feel now" – Bojan Dubljevic pic.twitter.com/0SOiPxERgt
— Eurohoops (@Eurohoopsnet) November 17, 2020
For Panathinaikos, that dropped to 2-5 (with two games suspended for coronavirus-related reasons) newcomer Shelvin Mack picked it from where he left it at OAKA last week with a team-high 15 points. Ioannis Papapetrou added 11 points plus nine rebounds while Dinos Mitoglou and Howard Sant-Roos pitched in 11 points apiece.
The Greens led 50 – 52 near the end of the third period and continued fighting until they hit a slump in the fourth period. With the score 71 -69, Valencia made a 11-2 run to assume control of the game and never allowed its opponents to become threatening down the stretch.
More fuel in the tank
Valencia’s energy in the fourth period made the difference, according to the Spanish team’s head coach Jaume Ponsarnau.
“We took advantage of a good three-point shooting streak, with Klemen [Prepelic] and other players, to have the initiative in the game,” Ponsarnau said. “There was a key moment in the fourth quarter in which it was key to have several players with energy, focused. In a moment in which we could have had a physical breakdown, we had the strength and intensity to run from one side of the floor to the other with energy. That energy was key.
Photo: EuroLeague Basketball