Panathinaikos stops Bayern to seize eighth place
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens never trailed and made a move in the standings when it beat visiting FC Bayern Munich 77-67 on Wednesday. Both teams are tied with 8-9 records, but Panathinaikos moved into eighth place based on an better point difference in the overall standings. Ioannis Papapetrou paced the Greens with 18 points and 8 rebounds, while Nick Calathes amassed 14 points and 11 assists. James Gist (13 points), Matt Lojeski (11) and DeShaun Thomas (10) all scored in double digits for the winners, too. That was the case only for Derrick Williams of Bayern, who tallied 21 points in his first start of the season. A 16-2 run over almost 9 minutes between the first and second quarters put Panathinaikos in control, and Bayern never got closer than six behind thereafter.
Gist had 6 points and Calathes 3 assists as Panathinaikos went ahead 19-9 with a 10-0 run in which Bayern was held scoreless for 5 minutes. The Greens' fourth offensive rebound already set up Papapetrou for a triple to finish the first quarter at 22-11. The difference soon reached 26-11 on a third basket by Thomas. Williams and Petteri Koponen revived Bayern to lower the difference to single digits at 33-25, but Papapetrou stayed hot on his way to 11 halftime points and a 43-32 lead for the Greens. Vladimir Lucic put up 5 quick points as Bayern downed the difference to 45-39 in just 2 minutes after the break. Gist and Lojeski restored a double-digit lead at 53-43. Bayern kept dipping into single digits but Papapetrou had the last word in the third quarter from deep for a 59-50 advantage. He kept tormenting Bayern with assists and put-backs for a 65-54 score with 8 minutes left. Again and again, Bayern trim the difference only to see Calathes make some magic and keep it in double-digits the rest of the way.
Papapetrou was the x-factor
His career-high 18 points were one thing, but Ioannis Papapetrou also led the Greens in rebounds with 8 – matching his previous best – and three-pointers made with 2. Due in part to injuries that kept Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Keith Langford out of action, he played 36 minutes, 45 seconds, the most of anyone on either team, as the Greens matched their best defensive performance of the season.
Movers and shakers
Nick Calathes recorded his sixth game of 10 assists or more this season. Only two players, Mike James and Alexey Shved, have as many as two. It was also his fourth double-double as he finished with 14 points, 11 assists and 6 rebounds in 34 minutes on the floor.
Tie-break advantage, too
The 10-point win by Panathinaikos means than it holds an nine-point advantage over Bayern, which won their first meeting this season 80-79 in Munich, should they take part in any end-of-season ties.
Panathinaikos will try to bite another team above it, FC Barcelona Lassa, on the road in Round 18 this Friday. Bayern goes home to take on AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan the same night.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019