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This was a defeat that Panathinaikos should not have suffered. After a season in the Euroleague in which the greens had proven that they were always very strong at home and had been defeated from only one team – twice – Barcelona.
In the match that would secure qualification, the Greens lost from Alba 66-68 and got themselves in trouble. The good thing for Panathinaikos (7-6) is that they still hold the advantage in case of a tie with Alba (7-6) as well as with Maccabi (8-5). The bad, if they lose next week in the game of the last round to Crvena Zvezda in Belgrade, their fate is no longer in their hands.
In the last minutes the teams were competing arm in arm and the only Panathinaikos player who had a clear head and a hot hand was their leader, Dimitris Diamantidis. Alba took the lead with 66-68, lost two possessions to increase that lead and in the most crucial offense of the game A.J. Slaughter missed a three-point shot. Alba’s McLean missed the free throws but there wasn’t enough time for the home team. From Panathinaikos Diamantidis was the top player and positive performances were put in by Fotsis, Slaughter and Batista, who nevertheless could not provide any solutions.
For Alba, which probably achieved their biggest win in their history, Redding, Renfroe and McLean were the top players.