Ehe Bitci Baskonia came away shorn on their visit to OAKA, falling 75-63 to a Panathinaikos side who enjoyed a quiet run to their fifth EuroLeague win of the season. The Greeks took control of the scoreboard from the initial jump, and were never threatened by a rival who came out without intensity, courage or success. A 22-8 score at the end of the first 10 minutes warned of what was to come, and this was nothing more than a green monologue that lasted until a 59-32 score at the beginning of the last period.
Okaro White and Jeremy Evans were Baskonia’s first executioners at the start of the match. Spahija’s men, who lost Matt Costello at the last minute due to a sprained ankle, were very weak in the paint and completely blind to the rim, making 4 of 18 field goals, including 5 misses from the triple .
The 22 to 8 with which the second quarter began did nothing but grow in the remainder of the first half. Although the locals reduced their success in the face of the hoop, they did not feel any type of concern either due to the persistence of Baskonia’s errors, both from long distance (0 of 13) and in the circulation of the ball and in rebounding. Thus, those from Priftis ended up almost doubling their rival at the break (38-20).
The talk in the locker room, a continuation of Spahija’s harangues in the previous time-outs -he used his first in minute 3 of the first quarter- barely had an impact on the Baskonia players. A triple by Nedovic allowed the team to overcome the advantage of twenty as soon as the third quarter began, a distance that they would not stop enjoying until the end of it (57-32, min.30).
The maximum would come shortly after, 59-32, setting the worst moment for the Vitorians. Baldwin IV, Giedraitis and Enoch took the opportunity to improve their statistics, while Panathinaikos began to rotate their also decimated rotation. The 31 points scored by Baskonia in the last 9 minutes practically equaled the team’s offensive performance in the previous 31 minutes -they scored 32- and served to close a worthy defeat numerically, but not emotionally, in a game that had no history.
75 – Panathinaikos OPAP (22 + 16 + 19 + 18): Nedovic (16), Bochoridis (3), Papapetrou (7), Okaro White (12) and Evans (14) -cinco titular-, Kavvadas (4), Kaselakis (7), Avdalas (-), Jovic (6), Mantzoukas (2) and Sant-Roos (4).
63 – Battles of the Basque Country (8 + 12 + 12 + 31): Granger (7), Baldwin (16), Giedraitis (12), Fontecchio (11) and Enoch (11) -five starters-, Lamar Peters (-), Raieste (-), Barrera (3) and Marinkovic (3).
rbitros: Luigi Lamonica (Italy), Fernando Rocha (Portugal) and Saulius Racys (Lithuania). Without eliminated.
Incidents: match corresponding to the twenty-third day of the Euroleague played at the Oaka in Athens before 951 spectators.