CSKA downs Panathinaikos to win Group E
CSKA Moscow secured first place in Group E of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16 with a hard-fought 63-69 victory at Panathinaikos Athens, setting up a playoffs date with Caja Laboral Vitoria. Viktor Khryapa led the way with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists while Sasha Kaun scored 11 points and both Milos Tedosic and Nenad Krstic hit for 9 points for the visitors. Moscow improved to 11-3 in Group E despite committing 17 turnovers in the game. Michael Bramos came off the Panathinaikos bench to lead all scorers with 18 points while Stephane Lasme scored 11 points. Athens star Dimitris Diamantidis was held scoreless, though he collected 3 assists, 4 steals, 2 rebounds and 1 block. Panathinaikos finished the Top 16 at 9-5 in fourth place and will take on FC Barcelona Regal in the playoffs. The game was close till the very end with the Greens sitting within 1 of the Russian champs in the closing minutes, but Khryapa starred at both ends and the visitors made critical free throws to ice the win.
First quarter: After slow start, Lasme sparks Panathinaikos
Panathinaikos coach Algiris Pedoulakis made just one change to his starting lineup with Diamantidis coming on instead of Marcus Banks with the quartet of Jonas Maciulis, Roko Ukic, James Gist and Sofoklis Schortsanitis. CSKA coach Ettore Messina trusted the same five in Teodosic, Sonny Weems, Zoran Erceg, Kaun and Khryapa. Weems started the game with a triple and Kaun threw down a dunk for an early 0-5 lead and a quick timeout for the Greens. Weems came out of the timeout with another three for an 0-8 lead. The hosts finally got on the scoreboard with a layup by Maciulis with 6:22 to play in the first. Erceg’s layup pushed the advantage back to eight before the Panathinaikos bench came on to spark the team with Kostas Tsartaris nailing a triple and Lasme getting two inside scores to cut the deficit to 9-10. A Kaun lay-in and a steal and break-away dunk by Aaron Jackson gave Moscow a 9-14 lead before Lasme got another inside score to bring Panathinaikos to within 11-14 after one quarter.
Second quarter: Bramos gets hot off bench, sparks Panathinaikos comeback
Vladimir Micov started the second quarter with a long ball and it was 13-19 after Lasme and Kaun swapped inside scores. Gist was open and nailed a straight on triple to make it 16-19 but Kaun came up with a highlight dunk off a pick-and-roll and converted the three-point play and added another score to give CSKA its biggest lead of the game at 16-26. Sofo stopped the run and then Bramos hit a straight-on three-pointer to narrow the gap to 21-26. Schortsanitis was way too deep for an easy score and two Ukic foul shots made it 25-29. Khryapa’s first point on a free throw gave Moscow a 25-32 advantage before Bramos continued his hot quarter with a three-pointer from the left corner and a layup off a CSKA turnover to pull within 31-32. After a Ukic free throw knotted the game, Bramos threw down a dunk off another Moscow turnover for a 34-32 lead – Panathinaikos’s first of the game. A Theodoros Papaloukas foul shot sent the teams into the locker rooms with the hosts ahead 34-33.
Third quarter: Strong Papaloukas not enough for CSKA
Maciulis started the second half with a three-point play to increase Panathinaikos’s lead to 37-33. Papaloukas answered with a three-ball and Khryapa’s jumper gave Moscow back the lead 37-38. CSKA was up 39-41 after a long-ball from Teodosic. After Ukic evened the game with a jumper in the lane, Papaloukas scored back-to-back baskets for a 41-45 CSKA cushion. But Schortsanitis got a tip-in and two foul shots to knot the game at 45-45. With the game tied at 47-47, Bramos nailed a long three-pointer as Panathinaikos was up 50-47 after three quarters – though Ukic nearly hit from beyond half-court at the buzzer.
Fourth quarter: CSKA hits late free throws, Khryapa comes up big on both ends
Micov opened the fourth with a jumper and Gist scored Panathinaikos’s first point with a free throw before Khryapa’s three gave CSKA a lead 51-52. Lasme answered with a three-point play to make it 54-52. Teodosic however came down to nail a long ball to put Moscow back ahead. Khryapa came up with a big block on Big Sofo and the Ukic missed an open triple before Khryapa knocked down a long, long three for a 54-58 CSKA advantage. After Diamantidis missed a desperation three at the shot clock buzzer, both Teodosic and Diamantidis missed foul shots before Bramos knocked down a triple from the left corner to snap a four-minute scoreless streak for Panathinaikos, which was within 57-58. After CSKA had made just 6 of its first 13 free throws in the game, Krstic and Khryapa both converted 2 free throws to keep Moscow up 59-62. Ukic picked up a steal and layup and then two free throws to bring Panathinaikos within 63-64. But Teosodic made one of two foul shots with 54 seconds left and Bramos missed a long ball with 33 seconds remaining before Krstic hit an open jumper with 9.8 seconds to play for the decisive cushion.
Thursday, April 4, 2013