By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Thanks to a solid first half, Real Madrid got an easy night against Panathinaikos getting the 83-68 win over the Greeks and getting back to a tie on the top of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague standings with Olympiacos at 15-7.
Once again it was a team effort for the winning side with Guershon Yabusele scoring 16 points and grabbing seven rebounds, while Mario Hezonja had 14 and Dzanan Musa added 12 points.
“I had a good start, my teammates get me going, the energy was winning and for us, it was a great game”, said Yabusele after the game.
Paris Lee with 17 points, Marius Grigonis with 12, and Dwayne Bacon with 11 were the top scorers of Panathinaikos with recent additions Matt Thomas and Dimitris Agravanis not being yet available.
Real Madrid started the game as expected with a 26-14 first quarter and led by 18 at halftime (48-30) and by 21 in the middle of the third period (60-39).
Panathinaikos seemed down for the count, but finally, there was a reaction as the Greens trimmed the lead to 11 (68-57) at the end of the third and lost the chance to get it down to less than double digits with Giorgos Kalaitzakis missing a three at the buzzer.
“It’s not so easy to keep the intensity when you are winning and we tried our best, but our mind was in the next game and we couldn’t control the score”, said Real Madrid coach Chus Mateo.
Real Madrid pushed the lead back to 15 points (76-61), and Panathinaikos thanks to Lee made it once again an 11-point game (76-65) in the closing minutes but couldn’t get into striking distance. The Greeks dropped to an 8-14 record and they will have also to face Baskonia on Friday without the duo of Thomas and Agravanis.
“Real Madrid got a big advantage from the get-go, they controlled the game and we have to play much, much better in the next game”, said Panathinaikos coach Dejan Radonjic.
As for Real Madrid, they face Monaco with coach Mateo saying: “They are a great team, they are physical, they play with energy and a lot with one-on-one they beat us here at home and we have to beat them back”.