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10.01.2008 22:28

Panathinaikos win at the Palau (55-56)

S˛nia de Alba

AXA Barša lost to Panathinaikos in the final seconds of a classic encounter. A miss in Roger Grimauĺs second free throw, which would have tied the game, was followed by a block on Lakovic and a desperate throw from Basile that rebounded off the ring.

Barša’s basketball team came frustratingly close to defeating Panathinaikos, and led by nine at one point in the second period (29-18). But the Greek outfit fought their way back into it, and the game eventually came down to the sides’ respective big shooters. AXA Barša could have tied the game at least, but the ball just did not want to go in.

Only Tsartaris

Dusko Ivanovicis side tackled the game perfectly from tactical point of view, especially in defence. Not one Panathinaikos shooter found it easy to score, and they worked well to gradually tire the Greek side. Kostas Tsartaris, however, did shine, and scored three triples in the first ten minutes. Panathinaikos ended the first period with a one point lead (15-16)

Great defending

But AXA Barša had plenty left, and continued concentrating their efforts on defence. Sarunas Jasikevicius, who was given a massive ovation by the local crowd when he came on, was unable to prove his worth because Barša did not want to let him. Nor Diamantidis or Spanoulis. Roger Grimau did find the room to do some damage and little by little Barša started opening the gap, with the score at 29-18 a minute and 50 from the break.

Panathinaikos floundered as Barša hit a straight seven, forcing Obradovic to call a time out that led to Diamantidis replying with five of his own to leave the score at 31-23.

Panathinaikos awaken

Barša’s lead was broken down as the visitors started taking good advantage of some unforced errors, with Panathinaikos having second, third and even fourth shooting options.

The defending Euroleague champions won the period 13-21 to make it all square going into the last 10 minutes.

Shots go astray

The final period was the most intense. Both sides were making errors and the pressure was getting to the men that should have made the difference, with the secondary players coming to the fore.

Tsartaris finished on 20 points. Roger Grimau stuck home a three pointer to Barša back in front at 54-52 with two highly strategically minutes to come.

Spanoulis converted a three to make it 54-55. Grimau then fouled Diamantidis, who only made one of his free throws. At 54-56, AXA Barša had possession and Panathinaikos fouled Grimau. The captain had to do his job to equalise the game with 7 seconds on the clock, but only scored from one. Lakovic collected the rebound but it was blocked by Diamantidis. And then Basile stole the ball, right on the buzzer, but his last ditch effort came off the ring.

AXA Barša lost their first European game at the Palau, but it was a game in which both sides did the sport proud.
Panathinaikos win at the Palau (55-56)

AXA FCB: Basile (7), Lakovic (9), Vßzquez (4), Acker (4), Kasun (6) –starting five- Sßnchez (2), Trias (2), Marconato (4), Ilyasova (-), Moncasi (-), Grimau (17)

Panathinaik˛s:Becirovic (-), Zizic (-), Tsartsaris (20), Diamantidis (8), Winston (2) – starting five – Alvertis (-), Perperoglou (-), Spanoulis (8), Batiste (4), Hatzivretas (7), Dikoudis (3), Jasikevicius (4)

Periods: 15-16; 16-7; 13-21; 11-12

Referees: Brazauskas, Belosevic i Viator

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