| Panellinios reached the Last 16 as the Group G champion by knocking off Sluc Nancy 77-64 in a make-or-break showdown at home on Tuesday. Both teams were in a winner-take-all situation but Panellinios ended up being first with a 4-2 record due to its tie-break advantage against Gran Canaria 2014. It now joins Last 16 Group K along with Bizkaia Bilbao Basket, Benetton Gioco Digitale and Brose Baskets. Nancy was third at 3-3 and would have won Group G with a win. Josh Davis led the winners with 28 points - 23 of them after the break. Kostas Chalarampidis added 12 while Ian Vougioukas had 10 for Panellinios. Stephen Brun had 14 points for Nancy while Ricardo Greer added 13. Nancy overcame an early 12-point deficit to get a 48-50 edge after 30 minutes. A three-pointer by John Cox tied the game, 62-62, with 4 minutes left. Davis led a final 15-2 run that allowed Panellinios to stay alive in the competition and win its regular season group.
Steed Tchicamboud got Nancy going with a three-pointer. Giorgios Kalaitzis quickly answered from downtown, igniting an 11-3 run that Devin Smith capped with a layup a mid-range jumper. Nancy called timeout and found a go-to guy in Akin Akingbala, that had 6 unanswered points to bring the guests back to life, 11-9. Jeff Greer soon followed a jumper with a dunk to tie it at 13-13. A layup by Davis and a big triple by Rod Blakney allowed Panellinios to get a four-point lead, 18-14, after 10 minutes. Blakney sank another three-pointer early in the second quarter and Smith copied him to make it a double-digit game, 24-14. Smith capped a 13-1 run with a layup, as a triple by Brun and free throws by Marcus Slaughter brought Nancy back to life, 26-19. Brun kept pacing Nancy with back-to-back jumpers and Cox followed a three-point play with foul shots to keep the guests as close as 29-28. Three-pointers by Jeff Greer and an unstoppable Brun completed the guests' comeback, 33-34. Free throws by Britton Johnsen, however, put Panellinios back ahead, 35-34, at halftime.
Davis downed a three-pointer immediately after the break but another jumper by a red hot Brun and a layup by Tchicamboud tied it at 38-38. Davis kept pacing Panellinios with a jumper that Ricardo Greer bettered with a layup-plus-foul to put Nancy ahead, 40-41. Davis followed a layup with foul shot but Ricardo Greer kept Nancy within 44-43. Chalarampidis found his first points on a layup but Slaughter followed an easy basket with a dunk to provide another lead change, 46-47. Ricardo Greer buried a triple but free throws by Charalampidis brought Panellinios within 48-50 after 30 minutes. Davis struck from downtown early in the fourth quarter but Ricardo Greer gave Nancy its last lead at 51-52. Charalampidis followed free throws with a triple and Blakney soon added a jumper but Ricardo Greer kept Nancy in the game, 58-56. Davis stayed on fire but free throws but Slaughter and a triple by Cox tied it at 62-62. Kalaitzis buried the go-ahead three-pointer, igniting a 15-2 final run in which Charalampidis and Davis also struck from downtown to make all Panellinios fans celebrate a critical home win in style.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010