By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Surviving a tight affair, Panathinaikos OPAP took down Ionikos, 68-61, Monday night.
Giorgos Papagiannis produced a 20-point, 17-rebound double-double becoming the key figure of the Stoiximan Basket League Regular Season Round 16 contest. For good measure, he put in three blocks, one assist, and one steal. Fellow former NBA player Okaro White added 16 points and eight rebounds while dealing with foul trouble.
Ioannis Papapetrou (nose) and Stefan Jovic (thigh) remained on the injury list. Daryl Macon Jr. and Nemanja Nedovic were sidelined as well. Panathinaikos had confirmed two players testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of the game and was coming off a couple of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague losses at OAKA Altion. Overcoming the multiple issues, the team guided by Greek tactician Dimitris Priftis managed to get the win, despite trailing for extended stretches of the second the third quarters.
The Athens outfit improved to 13-1 and matched archrival Olympiacos on top of the Greek League standings. Shifting off the domestic level to the EuroLeague, the Greek giants are set to collide in ten days at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Regular Season Round 30 action. The meeting is scheduled to be held on March 17, after the Greens host Peristeri next Monday in Round 17 of the Basket League Regular Season.
Connecticut product and former member of both the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA, Daniel Hamilton registered a 21-point, 13-rebound double-double facing Panathinaikos. Former NYU standout Costis Gontikas followed with 12 points to his name. Ionikos struggling through the 2021-22 season and looking to avoid relegation was forced down to 3-12.