Panathinaikos routed EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 57-78
Panathinaikos Athens blew away EA7 Emporio Armani Milan on the road 57-78 in the teams’ Top 16 Group G opening game. With solid execution on both ends of the court, the visitors never let Milan get a foothold in the game. David Logan led all scorers with 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting from two-point range, all of them coming in the second half, while Romain Sato had 11 and Mike Batiste added 10 for the winners. Four other players had at least 5 points. Antonis Fotsis knocked down 10 points for Milan against his former team. Alessandro Gentile added 7 points, but also committed 5 of Milan’s 24 turnovers as Panathinaikos smothered Milan defensively.
Straight out of the gate Dimitris Diamantidis nailed a three for Panathinaikos, which added free throws to go up 0-5. Omar Cook put Milan on the board with a triple, but Steven Smith and Stratos Perperoglou lifted the lead to 3-10. Gentile added a triple of his own, cutting the difference to 6-10. Then Panathinaikos shifted its scoring down low as Batiste and Smith banged in layups, opening a 6-14 lead. After Stefano Mancinelli knocked scored in the paint, the visitors took off on an 8-point spurt, led by Sato and Batiste, to go up 8-22. Ioannis Bourousis ended Milano’s dry spell with a layup, but Ian Vougioukas answered for the visitors to end the quarter at 10-24.
Gentile buried a fall-away jumper to open the second quarter, then Jacopo Giachetti floated in a layup on the baseline to cut the lead to 14-24. But then Kostas Kaimakoglou and Sato scored successive layups, offsetting Milano’s good start and boosting the lead back to 16-28. Mason Rocca started to hammer the offensive glass for Milano, getting two on a put back, but Sato answered wtih a laser from downtown, then Sarunas Jasikevicius added a layup as Panathinaikos reasserted its control 18-33. Kaimakoglou and Sato chipped in points in the paint to widen the lead to 18-37. But the hosts showed no signs of quitting, as Drew Nicholas hit 5 consecutive points, including a three, setting the score at 23-37. The next 6 points of the quarter belonged to Panathinaikos, however, which ended the half with its biggest lead of the game 23-43.
After two minutes, Mancinelli hit one of two from the foul line to register the first points of the quarter, nibbling away at the lead 24-43. Smith drilled a two-pointer, then Perperoglou buried a triple as the visitors piled on the points, 24-48. Fotsis tipped in a shot on the offensive glass and Gentile dunked for Milan, but David Logan hit a two-pointer to set the score at 28-50. Despite the lead, the visitors did not relent, as Vougioukas, Logan and Nick Calathes each added two-pointers, inflating the difference to 30-56. After Logan scored again the paint, Cook drove to the basket for two to end the third quarter with the scoreboard at 33-58.
Jasikevicius got things going for the visitors with two consecutive two-pointers, pumping the lead to 33-62. Rocca layed it in then Bourousis and Fotsis scored on two consecutive fast-break plays, slicing the lead to 39-62. Logan and Fotsis exchanged baskets in the paint, then Logan and Kostas Tsartsaris chipped in 5 as the score moved to 43-71. In the final four minutes, Milan outscored the visitors 14-4 to cut the deficit but it was too little too late as Panathinaikos crushed Milan 57-74.
Thursday, January 19, 2012