EA7 Emporio Armani Milan upset Panathinaikos 58-67
EA7 Emporio Armani Milan outplayed Panathinaikos to grab a 58-67 victory at OAKA, but despite the result Panathinaikos advanced to the playoffs and Milan was eliminated. That comes as a result of the 21-point win the Greens recorded over Armani in the fashion capital last month. Panathinaikos dropped to 3-2, but can still win first place in the group and home-court advantage for the playoffs with a road win at Unics Kazan next week. Other than an early lead, the hosts found themselves trailing the entire game. Panathinaikos pulled to within 1 point in the second and third quarters, but never turned the corner. Milan got a big lift from its three-point shooting, led by Nicolo Meli, who had a team-high 13 points, including 3-of-3 from downtown, while Ioannis Bourousis and Antonis Fotis each netted 12, Ernest Bremer contributed 9 on 3-of-6 from downtown and Omar Cook and Alessandro Gentile each added 8. Cook also dished out 12 assists for the winners. Dimitris Diamantidis led Panathinaikos with 12 points along with 4 steals and Mike Batiste added 11. While Milan made 10 of 23 from beyond the arc, the hosts managed only 2 of 16.
Milan took a 2-7 lead midway in the opening quarter, led by Cook’s bomb from downtown, as scoring began slowly. A layup and dunk by Batiste, followed by 2 more points in the paint by Kostas Tsartsaris put Panathinaikos out front 8-7. Antonis Fotsis knocked down a layup and Alessandro Gentile dunked, but Diamantidis delivered a three-pointer to knot the game at 11-11. But then Cook hit again from deep and Gentile nailed a step-back jumper to give the visitors an 11-16 margin at the end of the first quarter.
After Gentile opened the action with 2 points in the paint and Stratos Perperoglou downed two foul shots, Meli buried a three to stake Milan to a 14-21 lead. Tsartsaris and Mason Rocca swapped two-pointers, then Meli connected from downtown again to give the visitors a double-digit lead 16-26. David Logan slashed to the basket for 2 points and Diamantidis drained a triple, but Ernest Bremer answered with a three of his own, pushing the scoreboard to 21-29. Logan put in a layup on a fastbreak, then added a hook in the paint as Panathinaikos reduced the deficit to 27-29. Bastiste and Bourousis exchanged layups, then Bremer drained a triple from the top of the key, as Milan held on to the lead, 30-34. Two foul shots by Diamantidis ended scoring for the half, pulling the hosts to 32-34.
After Nick Calathes and Fotsis exchanged baskets, Diamantidis scored in the paint, advancing the score to 36-37 at the start of the third quarter. Then Milan put together a 2-9 run on free throws by Gentile, a triple by Fotsis and a pair of layups by Bourousis, lifting the lead to 38-46. After free throws by both teams, Fotis drilled a bomb from downtown but Ian Vougioukas countered with two consecutive baskets in the paint along with a free throw to slice the lead to 44-51. Fotsis knocked in a layup then Diamantidis downed two foul shots to end the quarter with Milan out front 46-53.
Meli dunked on a fastbreak to open scoring, then Vougioukas hit a free throw, setting the score at 47-55. Bourousis and Kaimakoglou exchanged points in the paint, then Leon Radosevic added a layup, giving Milan a 49-59 margin. Kaimakoglou layed it in, then Meli and Bremer each buried a three, extending the lead to 51-65 with 4 minutes to go. Meli dunked then Romain Sato answered with a layup, but Panathinaikos could do little more than cut the margin of defeat, adding a Batiste layup and Sato free throws, as Milan pulled out a convincing 58-67 victory on the road.
Thursday, February 23, 2012