Nedovic, Sant-Roos help Greens end loss streak
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens registered a crucial 83-76 home win over FC Bayern Munich 83-76 at OAKA on Friday to end its four-game losing streak. The hosts had a slow start but a 21-3 run over 7 minutes let them take the game's steering wheel by early in the second quarter. Bayern gave up and managed to make it a one-possession game, 72-70, with less than 4 minutes to go, but tough defense and key baskets by Nemanja Nedovic allowed the Greens to push their record to 3-6. Nedovic led the way for the winners with 17 points and 6 assists, while Howard Sant-Roos contributed an all-around performance of 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals. Georgios Papagiannis and Ioannis Papapetrou posted 12 points apiece for Panathinaikos. Bayern, whose record drops to 7-4, was guided by Vladimir Lucic, who scored 20 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Jalen Reynolds and Wade Baldwin added 12 points each, followed by Paul Zipser with 11.
Nick Weiler-Babb and Lucic fueled Bayern from outside for an early 5-10 lead. Papagiannis responded on both ends to spark a 10-0 run capped by Shelvin Mack's reverse layup for a 15-10 Panathinaikos advantage. Bayern remained scoreless for 5 minutes as Konstantinos Mitoglou and Papapetrou extended the gap to 18-13 after 10 minutes. The hosts continued rocking as Aaron White hit a deep three, Sant-Roos downed a fastbreak dunk and Mack drained a corner triple as a 21-3 run finished with the Greens in front by 26-13. The visitors recovered offensive rhythm through Lucic and Baldwin, who combined for 12 points in a 5-13 spurt that brought Bayern within 40-35. The Greens reacted in style with powerful dunks by Bentil and Papagiannis to reach halftime leading 44-35. Baskets by Bentil and Georgios Kalaitzakis for Panathinaikos were all that fell for 5 minutes after the break. Lucic took advantage of an unsportsmanlike foul to bring Bayern within 48-40, then Jalen Reynolds scored 8 points in the blink of an eye to reduce the gap further, to 56-52. Nedovic and Sant-Roos replied to keep Panathinaikos ahead 60-54 entering the last quarter. Zipser's triple soon made it a one-possession game, 62-59, but Sant-Roos responded quickly from the same distance. An exchange of baskets saw the difference remained steady at 69-65 midway through the last quarter before Lucic showed up from behind the arc and Reynolds scored inside to make it 72-70 with less than 4 minutes remaining. That's when Nedovic took charge for the hosts. He nailed a three and an acrobatic fastbreak basket to boost the lead to 77-70 and followed with free throw with another fastbreak dunk in the last minute to make sure his team held off Bayern.
Georgios Vovoras praised his team's defensive mentality after the game. PAO held Bayern to just 13 points on 2 field goals made in the first quarter, and when the visitors got within 72-70, the Greens held Bayern scoreless for 3 minutes to seal a key win.
Steal, run and score
Even though Bayern led the Euroleague in steals per game (8.0), it was Panathinaikos who excelled in that job tonight. The home team forced 17 turnovers on the German side and stole the ball in 10 occasions, which provided them with 19 fastbreak points.
In addition to a superb defensive effort, Panathinaikos found key balance on offense, as each player that stepped on the court contributed with some points. Nedovic was the top-scorer with 17 points, but nine more players filled the stat line for the Greens..
Nemanja Nedovic finished the first half with just 5 points on 2-for-6 shooting, but he took over when things got tough for his team. He scored 8 points in the last 3 minutes of the game to help turn back Bayern. Next to him, Howard Sant-Roos provided an all-around performance of 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals, good for a career-high index rating of 22.
Panathinaikos will play twice next week, starting with LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne on the road in a rescheduled Round 3 game on Tuesday. Then the Greens travel to Italy to challenge AX Armani Exchange Milan on Thursday. Bayern Munich will return home to host Khimki Moscow Region on Friday.
Friday, November 27, 2020