Nedovic fires Panathinaikos to victory over Fenerbahce
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens improved to 2-2 with an 82-68 victory over Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul in the Greek capital. The home team never trailed after the opening minutes and had a couple of double-digit leads, securing the win with a 10-2 surge to close out the scoring. Nemanja Nedovic was the hero for the hosts, shooting 7 of 12 from long-range for 28 points. Keifer Sykes paired 11 points with 5 assists and Panathinaikos battled hard throughout the team to win the rebounding battle 38-29 with nine different players grabbing multiple boards. Lorenzo Brown led Fenerbahce with 17 points, while Ahmet Duverioglu added 15 for the team which has now lost three games in a row to drop to 2-3.
A couple of scores from Marcus Foster gave Panathinaikos an early lead in a low-scoring start. Nedovic netted his first three-pointer and a layup for a 12-7 lead. Sykes added to the advantage from deep, but Duverioglu came off the bench to spark Fenerbahce with a pair of jumpers before Nedovic beat the first-quarter buzzer with a deep three for a 22-13 advantage. Duverioglu scored twice early in the second quarter, but the game’s first free throws made it a double-digit lead, 27-17. Nando De Colo and Jarell Eddie struck from deep, but Zach Auguste fought hard to score inside. Free throws and a huge alley-oop slam from Georgios Papagiannis made it 37-25. Brown scored twice to pull it back to 37-30 at halftime.
Brown continued his hot streak with a triple at the start of the third quarter, and a layup and one made it 41-40. Duverioglu briefly tied the game but Nedovic struck back from distance and a mid-range strike from Aaron White made it 48-43. Sykes nailed a pair of threes to take the lead up to 54-45. Melih Mahmutoglu made a pair of three-pointers, but White also struck from deep and Auguste dunked to make it 62-56 after three quarters. Nedovic opened the fourth quarter by scoring from deep and after defenses dominated the next few minutes, he sliced through to score again, 67-59. Eddie responded from beyond the arc for Fener, but Nedovic scored his fifth triple to protect the lead. Ben Bentil and Papagiannis scored from close range and Nedovic made another three-pointer for a 77-66 lead inside the final 3 minutes. Jan Vesely’s jumper made it closer, but Fenerbahce couldn’t generate any more offense and the home team eased to victory as Nedovic added yet another three-pointer.
Teamwork does the job for Greens
Although Nemanja Nedovic was the clear player of the game, this was a real team effort from Panathinaikos. Ten different players grabbed at least 1 rebound, nine got on the scoresheet, eight dished assists and all 11 players used by coach Georgios Vovoras spent at least 13 minutes on the floor.
Kokoskov ejected early
Fenerbahce was forced into a temporary coaching change when Igor Kokoskov was ejected from the game before halftime after picking up two technical fouls. That left assistant coach Erdem Can in charge on the sidelines.
Antetokounmpo brothers in the house
The game was played behind closed doors but there were some specially invited familiar faces in the stands in the form of famous brothers Giannis, Kostas and former Panathinaikos player Thanasis Antetokounmpo back in their native city.
Night to forget for De Colo
Nando De Colo celebrated the birth of his third child a few days ago, but Fenerbahce’s star guard didn’t have much to enjoy on his return to the court. He scored just 5 points, making only 2 of his 8 field goal attempts, and committed a game-high 4 turnovers.
Both teams are on the road next week, with Panathinaikos traveling to face Zenit St Petersburg while Fenerbahce will be in Israel to take on Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv.
Thursday, October 22, 2020