Panathinaikos rallies from 15 down to beat Zvezda in OT
Panathinaikos Athens rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to beat Crvena Zvezda Telekom 86-90 after overtime in a thriller at Hala Pionir in Belgrade. The Greens came alive in the third quarter and then took the lead in the final minutes, however Blake Schilb buried a late three to force overtime. Panathinaikos started the extra session strong and hung on to improve to 2-1, which moved it into a four-way tie for first place in Group D. Zvezda dropped to 0-3. It was a coming-out party for young star Nikos Pappas, who led the Greens with 24 points. Jonas Maciulis added 16 points, Mike Batiste scored 13 and Dimitris Diamantidis recorded 12 points, 9 assists, 4 steals and 12 fouls drawn. Schilb paced the hosts with 19 points and 5 assists. Charles Jenkins added 17 points off the bench, Jaka Blazic scored 14, Rasko Katic 12 and Ivan Radenovic finished with 10.
First quarter: Jenkins, Schilb shoot hosts in front
Panathinaikos won the opening tip and struck first on a Batiste jumper. Radenovic broke the ice for the home side. Batiste remained a focal point for the Greens with two more baskets, but Boban Marjanovic free throws and a Schilb slam kept the sides square. Zvezda’s DeMarcus Nelson took an early seat with 2 fouls. Maciulis sank the game’s first three before Batise hit another shot from the foul line extended to make it 6-11. Blazic connected for the home team’s first three before Charles Jenkins tied the game with a fastbreak layup. Diamantidis found James Gist with a lob pass for a slam, but Jenkins caused the fans to erupt when his triple gave Zvezda its first lead, 14-13. A steal and slam by Blazic only increased the din. Another Jenkins triple made it 19-15. Free throws by Maciulis and Stephane Lasme closed the gap to 2. Katic countered with a hook shot. Mike Bramos connected on a three from the corner, but Ramel Curry fouled Schilb shooting a three in the final seconds and the resulting free throws made it 26-22 after 10 minutes.
Second quarter: Blazic leads 10-0 run as Zvezda takes charge
Katic flashed another hook shot to the delight of the fans. Diamantidis nailed a three from the corner as the game moved back and forth at a rapid pace. After a few empty possessions at both ends, a Marko Simonovic tip-in made it 30-25. Branko Lazic took a seat for Zvezda with 3 fouls. An active Katic scored on the offensive glass and – after Antonis Fotsis hit a long jumper for the Greens – found a cutting Simonovic to extend the lead to 7. Katic then backed down Batiste for 2 more. Batise, however, drew Katic’s third foul and sent him to the bench. Pappas brought Panathinaikos within 6 with a layup in transition. Following a timeout, Luka Mitrovic attacked the offensive glass and scored. Pappas remained hot with a triple, but Simonovic did the same to make it 41-33. A Marjanovic block ignited a fast break for a Blazic slam and a double-digit Zvezda lead. A missed Panathinaikos three and a Marjanovic rebound led to another transition opportunity and Blazic capitalized with a triple… And then another to cap a 10-0 run that gave the hosts a 48-33 halftime lead.
Third quarter: Mavrokefalides sparks Greens, Zvezda responds
A different Panathinaikos came out for the second half. Pappas fired in a three and Loukas Mavrokefalides added a jumper. Coach Dejan Radonjic called a timeout, but even after that the Greens’ press led to another Mavrokefalides basket. Even a Panathinaikos turnover that led to a fastbreak attempt was cancelled out when Pappas rejected Jenkins from behind. Pappas extended the run to 12 unanswered points from the line. Radenovic finally made a baby hook that ended a five-plus minute scoring drought for the home side, 50-45. The arena erupted again when Schilb pulled up for a three that made it 54-45. After Mavrokefalides split free throws, a Jenkins jumper restored a double-digit advantage. Mavrokefalides tacked on 2 more from the line, but the hosts had regained the momentum heading into the fourth quarter.
Fourth quarter: Greens push ahead, but Schilb keeps Zvezda alive
Jenkins riled up the fans with a triple. Radenovic came through with 3 points over two possessions to make it 62-48. Pappas answered with a basket-plus foul and then a steal and layup. Nelson got to the line and split free throws to put his team up 9. A Katic free throw made it a 10-point margin. Maciulis tried to rally the Greens with a three-pointer. The Greens lost some defensive punch when James Gist committed his fifth foul, however Bramos breathed life into the game with a three from the corner that made it 64-60 with less than four minutes to go. Katic and Maciulis each converted 2 from the charity stripe over the next minute. Lasme rejected Katic in the paint and after Maciulis missed a three, he split free throws to bring his team within 3. Katic grabbed an offensive rebound, drew a foul and split free throws to make it 67-63 with a little more than two minutes remaining. A pull up triple by Diamantidis drew the visitors within 1. Panathinaikos completed the comeback when Maciulis stole the ball and started a fast break that Pappas finished, was fouled and made the resulting free throw for a 67-69 lead with 1:33 left. On the nest possession, Diamantidis added 2 free throws. A pretty play saw Jenkins pass to Radenovic, who was fouled; he made 2 with 64 seconds remaining. Diamantidis split free throws for a 3-point lead. Blazic missed an open three, so the hosts sent Lasme to shoot free throws with 33.9 seconds left. He made only 1. Jenkins drove, drew a foul clawed Zvezda within 71-73 with 25.1 ticks on the clock. Zvezda then fouled Diamantidis, who missed only 1. Zvezda turned to Schilb, who nailed a three over Bramos to tie the game at 74-74 with 10.7 seconds left. Diamantidis missed a fadeaway in the closing seconds and the game went to overtime.
Overtime: Panathinaikos takes control and hangs on
Bramos opened the extra session with a three-pointer. Jenkins attacked the rim and got a lucky roll. Maciulis sent in another three for Panathinaikos. Marjanovic scored inside to keep his team close. Pappas sank a pair of free throws to make it 78-82. Lasme left the game with 5 fouls, and Schilb made the corresponding free throws. Batiste boosted the lead to 4 with free throws. Blazic’s steal and layup with a minute and a half to go kept his team alive, 82-84. Diamantidis made another 2 from the line; Schilb countered with a leaning bank shot. Batiste sank a hook shot with 52 seconds left. Schilb got back to the line and sank 2 more. Maciulis got a friendly roll on a second-chance shot to boost the Greens to 86-90 with 10 seconds remaining. Simonovic missed a three, but Mitrovic was fouled on the rebound with 6.3 seconds left. However he missed both and despite the offensive rebound, Schilb missed from downtown as the Greens raced out with the win.
Friday, November 1, 2013