2008-09Regular SeasonRound 1
October 22, 2008 CET: 18:00
Local time: 19:00 O.A.K.A.
Nikola Pekovic - PanathinaikosPanathinaikos found the perfect start to the 2008-09 Euroleague season with a convincing 78-51 victory over Zalgiris. Dimitris Diamantidis led four players in double figures with 15 points for the Greek powerhouse, which hopes Wednesday’s home win is the start of a campaign ending in another Euroleague crown. Nikola Pekovic came off Zelimir Obradovic’s bench for 14 points in 14 minutes of action while Antonis Fotsis and Michael Batiste each tallied 10 points and combined for 10 rebounds. Dusan Kecman meanwhile chipped in five assists. Zalgiris, which swapped coaches just last week, committed 22 turnovers to 10 for Panathinaikos and Loren Woods paced the Lithuanian side with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Dainius Salenga added 11 points but no other player hit for more than seven for Gintaras Krapikas’s team.

Jonas Maciulis - Zalgiris Kaunas In its Euroleague season opener, Panathinaikos started in high gear and thanks to baskets from Stratos Perperoglou and Batiste rushed ahead to a quick 10-3 lead. Krapikas was forced to call a time-out only four minutes after tip-off. Zalgiris, however, could not capitalize on the hosts’ two-minute dry spell. Batiste took over again, scoring a total of eight points in seven minutes and ignited an 8-0 run which pushed the gap to 18-5. The guests tried to bounce back behind Loren Woods who managed to unlock Panathinaikos’s stifling defense. But the Greens were scoring at will and the first period ended with the hosts enjoying a 26-11 advantage.

Panathinaikos entered the second quarter with Pekovic dominating in the paint. And it wasn’t long before the Greeks forged a 20-point lead, 32-12. Zalgiris was clearly in disarray, failing to keep up with Panathinaikos on either end of the floor. After 14 minutes of play, Zalgiris was shooting an abysmal 6-of-25 from the field and had scored only 16 pts. Panathinaikos, however, took its foot off the gas and the guests finally got the scoreboard rolling, closing the gap to 38-26 with two minutes left before halftime. Zalgiris tried to claw its way back and surprise the seemingly laid-back hosts who went seven minutes without a basket. Salenga did all he could, converting a couple of lay-ups to trim the margin to 38-30 at halftime.

Dimitrios Diamantidis - Panathinaikos Early on in the second half Diamantidis drove to the basket to build a 42-30 advantage. But it was obvious that Panathinaikos was struggling to create fast break opportunities. A three-pointer by Salenga cut the lead to 44-36 and allowed Zalgiris to keep close on Panathinaikos’ heels. But the hosts proved too deep and talented to let Zalgiris turn the tide to its favor. Backed by the boisterous Panathinaikos crowd, Diamantidis scored on a reverse lay-up and then Fotsis punished the zone defense with a long ball from downtown for a 51-37 margin. Panathinaikos had now picked up its defensive intensity to its usually high standards. And with Diamantidis spearheading the offensive attack, the hosts broke the game open. Thanks to back-to-back triples by Diamantidis and Fotsis, Panathinaikos galloped to a whopping 65-39 advantage and ultimately forced Zalgiris to throw in the towel.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Danos Tsakalos, Athens
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Referees: ARTEAGA, JUAN CARLOS (ESP), MUHVIC, DUBRAVKO (CRO), BITTON, MOSHE (ISR)
Attendance: 12000
By Quarter1234
Panathinaikos26122713
Zalgiris1119912
End of Quarter1234
Panathinaikos26386578
Zalgiris11303951
Panathinaikos
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 ALVERTIS, FRAGISKOS 3:46     0/2                       -2
5 KECMAN, DUSAN 14:39 2 1/2       3 3 5 4 1 1 1 3 1 10
7 PERPEROGLOU, STRATOS 19:33 8 4/4 0/1     3 3   2       3 2 11
8 BATISTE, MIKE 21:52 10 4/6   2/2 1 3 4     2 1   1 3 13
9 FOTSIS, ANTONIS 23:27 10 2/5 2/3   2 4 6   2 1         13
10 HATZIVRETTAS, NIKOS 12:13 5   1/1 2/2                 4 1 2
11 NICHOLAS, DREW 24:26 4 1/3 0/3 2/3   1 1 2 1 2     2 2  
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 16:33 1 0/1 0/2 1/2   2 2 1 1 2     1 2  
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 25:42 15 5/7 1/3 2/2   3 3 2   1 1   2 3 17
14 PEKOVIC, NIKOLA 14:22 14 4/7   6/6           1 1   2 4 13
15 SAKOTA, DUSAN 5:48     0/1     2 2           1 1 1
19 JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS 17:39 9 3/8 1/2     2 2 4       1 3   5
Team             2 2               2
Totals 200:00 78 24/43 5/18 15/17 3 25 28 14 10 10 4 2 22 19 85
        55.8% 27.8% 88.2%
Head coach: OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
Zalgiris
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
7 WOODS, LOREN 33:47 17 6/8 0/1 5/8 7 9 16 3 2 5 1   4 4 28
8 MACIULIS, JONAS 31:51 7 0/4 1/5 4/10 3 5 8 1   1   1 4 6 2
9 KALNIETIS, MANTAS 5:40   0/1                     1 1 -1
10 JANAVICIUS, ZYGIMANTAS 20:35 7 3/3 0/2 1/1       2 1 2       2 8
11 ZUKAUSKAS, EURELIJUS 2:41   0/1   0/2 1 1 2   1 2     1 1 -2
12 KLIMAVICIUS, TADAS 11:22 4 2/5 0/1   3 3 6   1 5   1 1 1 1
14 VARDA, RATKO 10:14 3 0/1 1/2 0/2 1 2 3         1 2 3 2
15 MASIULIS, TOMAS 21:56     0/1     3 3 1   2     1 1 1
17 DEANE, WILLIE 26:12 2 1/8 0/2   1   1 2   3   1 3 2 -9
20 SALENGA, DAINIUS 35:42 11 4/8 1/6 0/1 1 3 4     2 1   2 1 3
33 ALIJEVAS, ROLANDAS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Team           3 1 4               4
Totals 200:00 51 16/39 3/20 10/24 20 27 47 9 5 22 2 4 19 22 37
        41% 15% 41.7%
Head coach: KRAPIKAS, GINTARAS

Head Coaches

OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
“It’s very important that we won our first Euroleague game. I am satisfied with the way we entered the game. Until the 14th minute we rarely lost our composure and we were very effective. So, all in all, the only time we faced some difficulties was in the final minutes of the first half, when we let them grab a lot of offensive rebounds and we failed to execute on half-court sets. On the contrary, in the second half -especially in the 3rd period- we played great against their zone defense. Overall, we might have lost the battle of rebounds, but our game today was very aggressive. We forced them to commit 22 turnovers, whereas Zalgiris stole the ball only 5 times. Congratulations to my players and of course to the fans who created, as always, such a great atmosphere.”
KRAPIKAS, GINTARAS
Zalgiris
“First of all I want to congratulate Panathinaikos. But I think that today it was a bit easier for them than it was last season because we are not ready to play. We should keep our heads up and try to come out of this difficult situation. We have to try to do our best and play better. Sometimes in basketball statistics do not say the truth. Today, we grabbed 19 rebounds more than Panathinaikos did, but we lost by a margin of 27 points. Regarding the financial problems that our club is facing, my task is to do my job. It’s not easy to change things in such a short period of time, however I hope and I trust that we’ll find a way to play better and win games. Panathinaikos is once again one of the strongest teams in Europe. When you see which players are coming off the bench…Every coach would like to have them. Maybe we cannot do it at the moment, but Panathinaikos is one of the teams that we’ll try to beat so as to qualify to the Top 16."

Players

FOTSIS, ANTONIS
Panathinaikos
"Early on in the game we played very good basketball and managed to build a huge margin. Then, for a while, we relaxed a bit and allowed Zalgiris to bounce back. Whenever we forge a big lead, we should keep it and never let our opponent slice the margin. The fans gave us a lot of boost tonight and I hope that they’ll keep supporting us with such as a passion as the season progresses."
DEANE, WILLIE
Zalgiris
“I just want to say that Panathinaikos played great tonight. We didn’t do a good job of taking care of the ball and making our free-throws. I have to play better in order to help my team and I will. I feel that I let them down tonight. We made a good run in the second quarter to cut the lead to 8pts, but then we gave them opportunities to score. Panathinaikos is a great team. They’ve been together for a long time, so they have great chemistry. That’s the kind of level we will try to get on, so we have to go back to Kaunas and start working again.”
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