Panellinios celebrated its return to European competition after in 20 years by defeating Telindus Oostede 84-77 after a 40-minute point-by-point battle in the Group F opener for both teams . A 21-9 scoring blast by Panellinios late at the third quarter allowed the hosts to overcome a 10-point-difference that the guests had built earlier. Pantelis Papaioakim led the winners, posting 21 points and 5 rebounds. Anthony Grundy reached 14 points, while Milan Dozet had 13 and Vangelis Sklavos added 11. Titus Ivory scored 16 for Telindus, while Greg Brunner contributed 14 , Jerry Green 12 and Veselin Petkovic 10. The Panellinios victory was not all wonderful, however, as Giorgos Sakellariou suffered a knee injury and had to leave the court writhing in agony.
Telindus started the game creating good opportunities on the offensive end as three different players, namely Petkovic, Green and Sam Van Rossom, scored one basket each for a 3-6 early lead. Howerer, Panellinios reacted with a solid 9-point unanswered streak with 5 points coming from Vangelis Sklavos to sail in front at 12-6. Green was now bearing offensive responsibility for the visitors as he summed 6 points of his own to tie the game at 14 points. When Van Rossom connected, Telindus had regained the lead at 14-16. Defenses had to strengthen now, but that resulted to fouls committed as Panellinios found some easy points from the charity line to close the first quarter ahead at 19-18. The guests proved determined to keep up controlling the game’s tempo; a three-pointer by Titus Ivory and consecutive baskets by Greg Brunner and Elvir Ovcina allowed Telindus to come infront at 25-21. Pantelis Papaioakim came in off the bench to offer some offensive solutions, before Panellinios big weapon Anthony Grundy sank his first triple to bring the hosts as close as 27-29. Panellinios was now setting up better its offense and when Vangelis Karampoulas chipped in a pair of free-throws, the Olympians were ahead at 35-33. However, Telindus kept its composure; Petkovic stepped up scoring four straight points to close the first half at 43-39 in favor of the visitors. After the back-and-forth battle of two quarters, Telindus was the team to finally manage to build a solid difference; Brunner rose as the figure when he fired in two triples in the row allowing his team to run away at 39-49 for a first time double-digit margin. Sklavos and Green exchanged baskets to let the difference unaltered before Papaioakim and Karampoulas combined for 7 points to bring it to 49-53. Papaioakim was now the go-to guy for Panellinios; consecutive plays and made free throws offered offensive breaths to the hosts who came now as close as 56-57. Ivory stepped up to nail a big triple, but the momentum was for Panellinios now. Papaioakim netted another couple from the free-throw line dominating in the paint and totaling a sum of 12 points in the third period; when Dimitris Kalaitzidis fired in a triple, the hosts were up again at 61-60 after 30 minutes. Grundy connected to make it 68-65 for Panellinios, but soon big man Elvir Ovcina nailed one from behind the arc to tie it again at 68-68. Ivory chipped in an important baske-plus-free-throw to lead Telindus infront at 71-70. However, a big triple by Kalaitzidis made it 73-71. The two teams came up tied at 73-73 when Panellinios’ coach Giorgos Kalafatakis ordered for zone defense; that proved a key move, as Telindus now struggled to get connected. The guests found only four points in the remaining 3 minutes, while Panellinios run a deciding 11-4 streak based on basets by Papaioakim, Grundy and Dozet that sealed an 84-77 victory.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007