Panathinaikos edged Maroussi 82-79
Panathinaikos finished its 2009-10 Euroleague appearance on a positive note by edging Maroussi BC 82-79 in Athens, Greece in Group E on Thursday night. Panathinaikos was third in Group E with a 2-4 record due to its tie-break advantage against Maroussi. Partizan automatically qualified to the Quarterfinal Playoffs with this score barely one hour before fighting for first place against Regal FC Barcelona. Mike Batiste led the winners with 21 points on 9-of-11 two-pointers and 8 rebounds. Giorgi Shermadini and Sarunas Jasikevicius each added 11 while Drew Nicholas had 10 for the outgoing Euroleague champions. Billy Keys and Jared Homan each had 13 points for Maroussi, Dimitris Mavroeidis added 11 while Jamon Lucas got 10 for the guests. It was a balanced game all the way, as a jumper by Batiste gave Panathinaikos a 22-20 edge after 10 minutes while a dunk by Marcus Haislip allowed the Greens to reach halftime with a 41-39 lead. A three-pointer by Nick Calathes gave the hosts a 61-60 edge after 10 minutes. A free throw by Mavroeidis tied the game for the last time, 77-77, with 55.4 seconds left. Batiste shined with a driving layup and Antonis Fotsis added free throws but Maroussi had a final chance to tie the game in the final seconds. Keys and Kostas Kaimakoglou missed from downtown, as Maroussi suffered a bitter end to its otherwise outstanding Euroleague debut season.
Batiste got Panathinaikos going with a mid-range jumper, as Maroussi tried to speed up the game tempo in the opening minutes. The guests went scoreless for more than 2 minutes, however, and Milenko Tepic took over with a driving layup - and the free throw that came with it. Homan scored down low but a long jumper by Nicholas gave Panathinaikos a 7-2 lead. Nick Calathes fed Batiste for an easy basket but Keys bettered that with a triple to keep Maroussi within 9-5. Calathes kept pacing the Greens with a driving layup and Fotsis added a tip-in to keep his team way ahead, 13-5. Kaimakoglou banked in an off-balance shot and Keys downed his second triple but Shermadini followed a dunk with free throws for a 17-11 Panathinaikos lead. Keys struck again from downtown and Lucas followed a layup in transition with a power basket to tie it at 18-18. Jasikevicius downed his trademark stop-and-pop jumper but Mavroeidis matched it with foul shots. Batiste sank a mid-range shot for a 22-20 Panathinaikos lead after 10 minutes.
Maroussi faced trouble once Mavroeidis returned to the bench with 3 fouls. Batiste downed another jumper and Jasikevicius found space for an uncontested layup in transition, good for a 26-20 Panathinaikos lead. Stevan Nadjfeji and Marios Batis rescued Maroussi with back-to-back triples that tied the game again, 26-26. Haislip dunked it off an outstanding bounce pass by Jasikevicius and followed Shermadini's free throws with a layup that gave the Greens some fresh air at 32-28. Panathinaikos tried a small lineup with Jasikevicius, Calathes and little-used Dimitrios Verginis together on court. Nadjefji and Calathes traded free throws, as the game turned into a physical battle. Batis sank one from beyond the arc and even when Shermadini hit foul shots, Keys downed his fourth three-pointer to make Panathinaikos call timeout at 36-37. Batiste rescued the Greens with a three-point play and Jasikevicius found Haislip for another big dunk that fixed the halftime score at 41-39.
Kaimakoglou fed Homan for a reverse layup immediately after the break, as Panathinaikos started to power the offensive board. Batiste scored around the basket but another easy basket by Homan tied it at 43-43. Nicholas stepped up with a three-pointer and Jasikevicius added a fast break layup to restore a 48-43 Panathinaikos lead. The Greens kept excelling in defense, closing all passing lines but Maroussi found a go-to guy in Michalis Pelekanos, who followed a dunk with a corner triple for a 48-48 tie. Panathinaikos had started to miss open shots and free throws by a red hot Pelekanos put the guests back ahead, 48-50, after a 0-7 run. Tepic scored in penetration and Jasikevicius added a layup but Kaimakoglou and Homan restored a 52-54 Maroussi edge. Nicholas sank free throws but an unstoppable Homan matched it with a jump hook. Jasikevicius took over with a floating layup that Pelekanos erased with a fallaway shot. Shermaini scored down low and even when Homan shined with a backdoor layup, Calathes beat the buzzer with a triple that put the Greens back ahead, 61-60, after 30 minutes.
Mavroedis rolled off a pick to score in the paint early in the fourth quarter but a jumper by Tepic gave Panathinaikos a 63-62 edge. Batiste buried a jumper from the right wing that Mavroeidis matched with a wild spin move in the low post. Pat Calathes sank an open triple to put Maroussi back ahead, 65-67, with over 7 minutes left. Batiste kept pacing Panathinaikos with a jumper that Calathes followed with a driving basket for a 69-67 score. Nadjfeji sank free throws and Mavroeidis put the guests back ahead, 69-71. Nicholas split free throws and soon sank a jumper to tie the game again, 72-72, with 4 minutes to go. Fotsis beat the shot clock with an outstanding three-point play, as Panathinaikos had managed to stop Mavroeidis. Lucas stepped up with a turnaround jumper and tied it again with 1-of-2 free throws. Batiste and Mavroeidis traded free throws for a 77-77 tie with 55.4 seconds left. Batiste took over with a layup in penetration and Panathinaikos fouled on Homan, who split free throws with 23.5 ticks to go. Fotsis drew a foul and calmly missed free throws while Keys and Jasikevicius went 1-of-2 for a 82-79 score with 15.3 seconds left. Maroussi had the chance to tie the game but Keys and Kaimakoglou missed from downtown in the final seconds.
Thursday, March 11, 2010