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15.11.2007 22:20

Panathinaikos still unbeaten (76-66)

S˛nia de Alba

AXA Barša were outplayed in the third period and Panathinaikos managed to maintain their lead until the end. But Barša had the Greek side against the ropes, and often had victory in sight.

Dusko Ivanovic’s side suffered with the long throws, registering just 16% in three pointers, yet still managed to come close to surprising Panathinaikos on the road. AXA Barša looked composed and solid, especially in the first half, against one of the strongest squads in Europe.

Ahead at the break

Barša actually looked the better side early on, but Dikoudis and Diamantidis knew how to respond to make it 14-7, when Ivanovic called his first time out. It paid off, Barša kept a hold on Panathinaikos and by the end of the period had considerably reduced the deficit (19-15).

In the second period, Zeljko Obradovic and his men scored 8 straight and forced Barša into aggressive defending. But Michel Morandais was scoring with ease, and AXA Barša managed to turn the game around by the break (36-37).

4 minutes without scoring

The third period started poorly, and Barša allowed themselves to weaken. Panathinaikos, with Sarunas Jasikevicius as the playmaker, grew stronger as they realised the intensity was going out of the Barša game.

The period score of 20-10 tells the story. They were allowing far too many steals and missing all their three point efforts, other than one from Morandais in the period in a game where the total register was just 4/25 for AXA Barša.

But despite these problems, Barša did managed to claw their way back into things, and came back to within four points following four minutes in which Panathinaikos failed to basket. Ersan Ilyasova registered no less than three blocks during this period.

But the fight back failed to pay off. Kostas Tsartsaris scored five points in a row as the home side stretched their lead to eleven at the close of play.
Panathinaikos still unbeaten (76-66)
Match stats

Panathinaikos (19+17+20+20): Becirovic (-), Batiste (9), Dikoudis (6), Diamantidis (15), Winston (15) –starting five- Alvertis (3), Spanoulis (8), Zizic (4), Hatzivretas (-), Tsartsaris (11), Tomasevic (2), Jasikevicius (13)

AXA FCB (15+22+10+19): Trias (4), Lakovic (13), Morandais (14), Acker (5), Kasun (16) – starting five - Basile (3), Sßnchez (-), Marconato (-), Vßzquez (6), Ilyasova (3), Moncasi (-), Grimau (2)

Referees: Lamonica, Sutulovic and Ryzhyk.

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