By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Baskonia, that was coming off a 29-point win over Maccabi Tel Aviv, was up 38 – 43 at halftime. After the break, Panathinaikos players fought fire with fire against the highest-scoring team in EuroLeague and produced 29 points against their opponent’s 16 to move up 57 – 59.
With many players contributing, Panathinaikos continued making short work of Baskonia’s abysmal defense and established a double-digit advantage. With 2:41 to play, Arturas Gudaitis pulled off a 3-point play to give the Greens their biggest lead in the match, 90 – 74, and provide a safety cushion for his team as crunch time was approaching.
“It’s great,” Panathinaikos center George Papagiannis said. He was named MVP of the game after finishing with 11 points plus 11 rebounds. “We have been fighting. We lost a few games by 2-3 points already this season. We are coming along and getting gelled together as a team; [the] chemistry is coming. So, whenever we have a home game, especially against Baskonia, the best offensive team in the league, we wanted to make sure we got stops and get out in transition. It shows the type of team we are. Like I said, we had a few losses this season so far, but we are trying to bounce back and string together a few wins in a row. That’s the type of defense that we can play. We can hold teams like this down to below their averages and we scored more than we average, too! So, everybody pitched in! Everybody who played pitched in, so I am just glad we got the win.”
The trio of Dwayne Bacon (16 points), Derrick Williams (16 points) and Mateusz Ponitka (15 points, five rebounds) provided in the entire game for Panathinaikos while Marius Grigonis scored all of his 13 points in the last 10 minutes, including beating the third-quarter buzzer.
Nate Wolters (nine points, seven assists) was a main factor in Panathinaikos’ dominant third period with buckets and dimes.
“Congrats to the players for the win, for the good game,” Panathinaikos coach Dejan Radonjic said. “Thanks a lot to the fans for the great support tonight. We lost three games at home, three close games that we had [in our hands], and in the last few days we had the opportunity to have almost all of our practices with all the players. It was important for us to play a good game tonight. Our beginning was good; after that, the second quarter was not that [good], with mistakes. It was clear that we were a little bit nervous. But the second half was really great offensively. Excellent. [It was] our best game offensively, 60 points in the second half. And finally, we won. Also, I would like to tell you that this is a win for Mike [Tournakis].”
Markus Howard had 20 points for Baskonia. He had 16 in the first 25 minutes and until he went to the bench with a fourth foul with the score 56 – 50. He re-entered the match with five minutes to go when Baskonia trailed 81 – 69.
Mark Kotsar contributed 14 points to Baskonia and Matt Costello scored 10.