2006-07Regular SeasonRound 7
December 07, 2006 CET: 19:45
Local time: 20:45 O.A.K.A.
Mike Batiste - Panathinaikos Panathinaikos survived a stern test from Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv to win 90-88 on Thursday night at OAKA Olympic Hall in Athens, Greece, to improve to 7-0 atop the Group B standings. Simas Jasaitas's game-tying basket was waived off as the referees correctly ruled that the ball left his hands after the buzzer sounded. The exciting game added another chapter to the exciting Panathinaikos-Maccabi rivalry, as the Greens ended a three-game losing streak against the Israeli champs. Panathinaikos, the only remaining undefeated team in the Euroleague, opened a three-game lead over Maccabi and Cibona in Group B. Maccabi, which fell to 4-3, is winless in three road games this season. Mike Batiste led Panathinaikos with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks, while Tony Delk added 17, Dimos Dikoudis 13 and Nikos Chatzivrettas 11. Will Bynum was the main man for Maccabi with 22 points, 5 assists and 4 steals, while Nikola Vujcic added 18. Panathinaikos led for much of the game, but was never able to pull away. Lior Eliyahu put Maccabi ahead for the last time 73-74 with 6 minutes to go. Panathinaikos surged ahead to 84-78, but Maccabi remained close and Noel Felix closed the gap to 89-88 with 16 seconds left. Dimitrios Diamantidis had a chance to ice the game from the line with 3 seconds left, but his second shot rolled out. Vujcic was first to the rebound and rifled a cross-court pass to Jasaitas, but his shot was too late, allowing the Greens to celebrate a hard-earned win.

Despite the noisy atmosphere, Maccabi started on fire and raced ahead 0-6 behind three-pointers by Simas Jasaitis and Bynum. However, Batiste showed why he was recently chosen Euroleague MVP for November with two thunderous dunks, a free throw and a hook that rallied the Greens to a 7-0 run. With Batiste and two-time Euroleague best defender Dimitris Diamantidis, Panathinaikos flashed some of its trademark defense, which strangled Maccabi and kept the guests without a field goal for more than six minutes. On the other end, Delk scored 7 points during a 9-2 spurt that built a 16-10 lead for the hosts and forced a Maccabi timeout. The Yellows had made 2-of-10 field goals after their initial downtown display, yet Maccabi managed to pull within 21-18 thanks to points from the charity line and a jumper by captain Derrick Sharp at the buzzer.

Panathinaikos captain Fragiskos Alvertis came out in the second period with his pistol loaded and knocked down a triple to bring the momentum and send the noise level to new heights. Sharon Shason picked up the scoring slack for Maccabi, as he first scored on a jumper, then fed Lior Eliyahu for a reverse lay-up and finally converted a three-point play to close the gap to 30-27. Chatzivrettas replied with a bomb from beyond the arc, yet it was time for All-Euroleague center Vujcic to step up, as he scored 4 points that sliced the margin to 34-31. Sharp then connected from beyond the arc and Vujcic added a pair of free throws to tie the game and show that the guests were not willing to go down without a fight. Vujcic was now dominating and poured in 4 more points, however Alvertis upped the ante, as he nailed a triple and two from the line that put the hosts up 47-45 at halftime.

Will Bynum - Maccabi EliteThe second half commenced with a Vujcic dunk and a Batiste turnaround jumper. Felix responded with a two-handed slam, yet Kostas Tsartsaris took revenge with a three-point play and Batiste scored a basket to boost the Greens' lead to 56-50. Bynum found some open space against the stifling Panathinaikos defense to slash to the basket, yet the hosts found a go-to-guy in Delk, who kept the Greens in the driver’s seat, 63-58, with 3:20 to go. Flashy Bynum was a big factor, as he kept taking his opponents off the dribble and pulled Maccabi within 63-62. Chatzivrettas connected from downtown and Milos Vujanic drilled a pair of free-throws, but Bynum drove it to the basket again to trim the gap to 68-65 with one period left.

The fourth period got underway with Bynum looking like a man on a mission. He scored a wild layup and then dished a pair of assists that allowed Maccabi to grab the lead, 71-73, with 7 minutes to go. It was Euroleague basketball at its best now with both teams embarking on fascinating plays on both ends of the floor, while the fans were wild and boisterous. Diamantidis tied the game and after a Zelimir Obradovic timeout Dikoudis muscled his way for a basket and a point from the line. Diamantidis then found Batiste for a thunderous dunk and a 78-74 gap midway through the quarter. With the hosts having tightened their defense, Maccabi struggled offensively and missed six shots in a row - including a dunk by Eliyahu. Diamatidis gave Panathinaikos an 82-76 lead at the 3:29 mark. Neven Spahja called a timeout and managed to regroup his charges. Jasaitis hit four free throws, yet Delk responded and Diamantidis emphatically rejected Bynum to restore an 84-80 advantage. Vujcic made it a one-basket possession until Diamantidis dished the ball to Dikoudis for a slam that gave Panathinaikos an 86-82 lead with a minute left. Jasaitis came up empty from beyond the arc, while Chatzivrettas made 2-of-4 from the line. However, Bynum bettered him with a triple and a free-throw that cut the margin to 88-86. After Felix narrowed the gap to 1, Diamantidis had a chance to ice the game from the line with 3 seconds left, but his second shot rolled out. Vujcic was first to the rebound and rifled a cross-court pass to Jasaitas, but his shot was too late, allowing the Greens to celebrate a hard-earned win.
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Danos Tsakalos, Athens
No results found.
Referees: ARTEAGA, JUAN CARLOS (ESP), ZIEMBLICKI, GRZEGORZ (POL), BELOSEVIC, ILIJA (SRB)
Attendance: 11500
By Quarter1234
Panathinaikos21262122
Maccabi Elite18272023
End of Quarter1234
Panathinaikos21476890
Maccabi Elite18456588
Panathinaikos
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 ALVERTIS, FRAGISKOS 14:00 9 0/2 2/3 3/4   1 1 1 1       2 2 8
5 DELK, TONY 21:00 17 7/10 1/2 0/1 1 2 3 1   3     4 3 12
6 PAPANIKOLAOU, DIMITRIOS 0:15                              
7 BECIROVIC, SANI 19:45 4 2/4 0/2   1 1 2 1         3 2 2
8 BATISTE, MIKE 30:45 21 9/11 0/1 3/6 4 3 7 1 2 3 2   3 5 26
10 HATZIVRETTAS, NIKOS 30:00 11 1/3 2/3 3/6 1 1 2 2 1 2     3 3 8
11 DIKOUDIS, DIMOS 15:00 13 4/4 0/1 5/7 1 1 2 1         4 4 13
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 23:00 4 1/2 0/1 2/3 3 4 7 1   2     3 3 7
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 28:15 5 2/2 0/4 1/2 1 3 4 6 2 1 2   4 2 11
16 SAKOTA, DUSAN DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 VUJANIC, MILOS 13:45 4 0/1 0/2 4/4       1 1 1   1 3 3 1
19 JAVTOKAS, ROBERTAS 4:15 2 0/1   2/2         1       1 1 2
Team           1 1 2   1           3
Totals 200:00 90 26/40 5/19 23/35 13 17 30 15 9 12 4 1 30 28 93
        65% 26.3% 65.7%
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
Maccabi Elite
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 BYNUM, WILL 30:15 22 5/8 2/3 6/8   3 3 5 4 3   2 3 6 26
5 FELIX, NOEL 12:00 8 2/2   4/4 1 2 3           4 2 9
6 SHARP, DERRICK 13:45 7 1/1 1/2 2/2 1 1 2 1         5 2 6
7 VUJCIC, NIKOLA 33:00 18 7/12 0/1 4/4 2 2 4 1 1 5     3 3 13
8 ELIYAHU, LIOR 21:00 8 3/8   2/4 3 4 7 1   3   1 1 4 8
9 ARNOLD, JAMIE 4:45   0/1     1 2 3     1     2   -1
10 BURSTEIN, TAL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
11 SHASON, SHARON 24:00 7 1/1 0/5 5/5 2 5 7 2         5 4 10
12 FANAN, REGEV DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
13 JASAITIS, SIMAS 17:30 9 0/1 1/3 6/6   1 1 1   2   1 4 4 5
14 GREEN, YANIV 5:45 4 1/2   2/2 2   2   1   1     1 8
21 HALPERIN, YOTAM 38:00 5 1/3 0/2 3/4 1   1 1 1 2     1 4 4
Team                   1           1
Totals 200:00 88 21/39 4/16 34/39 13 20 33 12 8 16 1 4 28 30 89
        53.8% 25% 87.2%
Head coach: SPAHIJA, NEVEN
This game has no play by play yet

Head Coaches

OBRADOVIC, ZELJKO
Panathinaikos
"As I’ve said before, Maccabi is still a great team, something that it was confirmed tonight on the court. We had prepared ourselves so as to shut them down, however at times we failed to contain them and they punished us by hitting many open shots. Yes, I am satisfied with the fact that we are still undefeated, but we should remain concentrated and keep working hard in order to fulfil our potential. Regarding the off the buzzer lay-up by Jasaitis, everyone agreed eventually that the referees took the right decision."
SPAHIJA, NEVEN
Maccabi Elite
"I want to congratulate both Zelimir and his players, as Panathinaikos was the better team tonight. We performed better than in Zagreb, but once again we didn’t grab the away win. The main problem tonight was that we made some stupid mistakes and we missed a lot of open shots. Once we return to Tel Aviv, we should analyze the game and see what went wrong, so as to improve in the future games."

Players

BATISTE, MIKE
Panathinaikos
"It was a very difficult game because Maccabi is a great team. The Yellows deserve our respect. The game turned into a dogfight, so I am very happy that we won, even though defensively we were not as effective as in previous games. I am pleased with the fact that I was chosen the player of the month, yet when I entered the court I was focused on doing the job I had to do."
VUJCIC, NIKOLA
Maccabi Elite
"It was a good game. Of course, it’s not easy to beat Panathinaikos at home because they are a very experienced team. Still, we had the chance to escape with the victory but we weren’t smart enough down the stretch. Now, our goal should be to finish second, having a better record than the other two second-placed teams."
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