By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Derrick Williams scored 26 points on a career-high five 3-pointers, including the go-ahead triple, and grabbed eight rebounds as Panathinaikos Athens beat Virtus Bologna 88 – 85 in overtime to return to EuroLeague wins after a blowout away loss to Fenerbahce Beko.
With 15 seconds remaining in the extra period and Virtus up 83 – 85, Paris Lee found a wide-open Williams who drained the 3-pointer. On the other end, Iffe Lundberg was called with an offensive foul on a layup attempt and Dwayne Bacon made 2-2 free throws to increase Panathinaikos‘ lead to three.
“It’s winning time,” Williams said. “We struggled at the start of the season, and this is a big double week for us to really change our season around. My teammates found me in some good spots, we got defensive stops when we needed it, and the defense won the game tonight. ”
Milos Teodosic misfired in his “Hail Mary” 3-pointer and Virtus suffered its first loss after two straight victories. Mam Jaiteh led the Italian side with 20 points and 10 rebounds in a dominant night that would’ve been perfect if he didn’t miss a seemingly easy hook shot with his team up 74 – 76 and 30 seconds to play in regulation.
Lee then made the layup that sent the game to overtime, making it 76 – 76 with 10 seconds left. Teodosic, who had put Virtus ahead 74 – 76 after an 0 – 8 run, took the game-winning attempt but his shot from downtown was off-target.
“I congratulate the players for the win and thanks to the fans for the great support,” Panathinaikos coach Dejan Radonjic said. “I hope they will help us again in two days when we have another game against ASVEL. It will be important to see them there in our gym. It was a tough game, we played with a lot of energy and we cannot compare this with the game against Fenerbahce. In the end, it was one good possession and one good defense, and at this moment for us a very important win.”
Nate Wolters finished with 18 points, eight of them in the third period. It was then when Panathinaikos took the lead for the first time after trailing since the first quarter and after coming back from double-digit deficits twice. Lee scored 15 points and Dwayne Bacon had 14 points. While the latter had an overall bad shooting night with 4-16, he delivered an important 3-point play in overtime for the 83 – 83.
Semi Ojeleye posted 19 points plus five rebounds for Virtus. Iffe Lundberg scored 14 and dished out eight assists while Teodosic dropped 12 points and had five dimes.
“I would say our mistakes in regulation made the difference,” Virtus coach Sergio Scariolo said. “We missed a layup which would have shut the game down, we didn’t make a foul on the last shot when we had a foul to spend. More than half of our players never played the EuroLeague before, so a little detail of experience and focus made the difference. Overtime was give and take, and they deserved to make the last shot to win. We congratulate them and move forward.”