Panathinaikos dominates to wrap Asia Tour with victory

Sep 30, 2015 by Print
Panathinaikos dominates to wrap Asia Tour with victory

Panathinaikos Athens wrapped up its trip on the Euroleague Basketball Asia Tour on Wednesday, with a dominating performance and a resounding 63-85 win over Guangdong Tigers at the Macau Tap Seac Multisport Pavillion in Macau, China. Greens took control, and the lead for good, in the first quarter behind Miroslav Raduljica, before pulling away with a 3-16 run in the second. Panathinaikos held 30-48 at halftime, and after the break margin soon eclipsed 20-point barrier, as the Greek powerhouse cruised to victory. Raduljica scored majority of his 15 points in the first quarter, and Sasha Pavlovic scored 13. Charalampopoulos chipped in with 11 in as many minutes, while James Feldeine and Vladimir Jankovic each added 10 points in victory. Shang Gao paced the hosts with 13 points, while Zhandong Zhou and Hanlin Dong scored 12 apiece in defeat.

Raduljica was the main force for the Greens in the first period with baskets from the lane and he was soon up to 12 points, as Panathinaikos jumped ahead on the scoreboard. Nick Calathes fed Jankovic in the paint for 13-22 as the Greek powerhouse had a strong finish to the first period.

Gao opened fire in the second quarter, but Charalampopoulos replied fast on the other end. The Tigers were starting to wake up when Yuanyu Li hit the bucket for 20-24, but a steal by Dimitris Diamantidis resulted in Charalampopoulos stopping the bleeding for the Greens. Zhou hit the three from downtown, and Tianyi Zhao joined in with a three-point play that forced Sasha Djordjevic's timeout at 26-32. After that, Fotsis capped a 0-6 run before Pavlovic nailed a three to make it 27-41 as Panathinaikos started to fire on all cylinders. Jankovic stepped up with five straight points of his own in the last minute of the period for 29-48 and the Greens had found their place on the court again, as teams went into halftime with the visitors up 30-48.

Both teams started the second half a bit off-pace, but Raduljica apeared soon with four point of his own, including a monster dunk in traffic for 31-52. Junfei Ren took advantage of a disajdustment on the Panathinaikos defense to hit an open three, and then Gao soon joined him for a 37-54, but it was all a mirage. Pavlovic nailed a new bomb from afar to keep things in place. The Greens missed a few open shots but the Tigers had their share of struggling on offense. Diamantidis came to the rescue with his bucket, and then Feldeine scored from the line to make it a 26-point game, 41-67. Two free throws by Zhou made it 43-67 after 30 minutes.

Li showed character and skills with a three-point play that didn't have the final prize, but the Tigers never gave up and managed to work their way up to 51-72, but Pavlovic put Panathinaikos back on track again. The Greens tried to give minutes to all players to get in the playing rhythm and Pavlovic was a one-man army on offense as he scored Panathinaikos' 80th point with three minutes to go, 54-80. It was all said and done in the final moments and neither team took unnecessary risks as the Greens cruised to a final 63-85 win.

Sasha Djordjevic, Panathinaikos head coach

"Another game in our tour we finished with a win. We had some good minutes of basketball, but we are still working. We have been together just for a week, but basically work hard to reach our level. The players have tried to put on the court some of the things that we have practiced, the focus of the players was very good."

China Tour 2016