By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Mario Hezonja scored a team-high 17 points while dropping the layup that forced the extra period for the Panathinaikos. His team made a 7 – 0 run in the final minutes while erasing a 20-point deficit overall.
“We did not enter the game well, but we managed to make the upset. I am glad that Nedovic returned, although he had a difficult game,” Hezonja said. He and his teammates saw guard Nemanja Nedovic returning to action after two and a half months. “We fought hard in the end to get the result… I remember they shouted at me that we have 6 seconds [on the last play in regulation]. I did not care who was in front of me. I have confidence in myself, he gave me the left layup, I took it and I aimed
Shelvin Mack took over with eight out of his 11 points in overtime to help Panathinaikos get even a 85 – 75 lead with 1:35 to play. Milano came back and reduced the margin to 86 – 83 after three free throws by Gigi Datome.
Following a missed pair from the line by George Papagiannis, Datome had an opportunity to send the game to another overtime but he misfired from beyond the arc. Milano lost the game while missing a chance to get close to securing homecourt advantage in the playoffs.
Vladimir Micov had 15 points while Kevin Punter scored 13 for Milano.
Apart from Hezonja, Ben Bentil posted 16 points and six rebounds, Ioannis Papapetrou had 14 points and five rebounds while George Papagiannis finished with 14 points and seven boards.
A matter of character
Panathinaikos coach Oded Kattash saw his team achieving a major comeback in the second half to get the win and sweep Milano 2-0 in the regular season. He commended his players for this reaction.
“We talked at halftime and I’m really happy about the way the players reacted in the second half,” Kattash said. “We were down 10 in rebounds, but we had more at the end. We put in a lot of effort. We did a great job defensively in the second half. I’m very happy about the character that we showed.”