2008-09Regular SeasonRound 8
December 17, 2008 CET: 19:45
Local time: 20:45 OAKA

Panathinaikos cruised past SLUC Nancy 83-69

Panathinaikos bounced back from a rare home loss by thrashing SLUC Nancy 83-69 at OAKA to clinch a berth in the Top 16. Panathinaikos swept the season series with Nancy improving to 6-2 and moving into a tie for second place with the loser of Wednesday's late game between Regal FC Barcelona and Montepaschi Siena. The Greens visits Montepaschi in their next game, which is after the winter break. Meanwhile Nancy fell to 2-6 and watch on Thursday as Asseco Prokom visits Zalgiris to see where its Top 16 chances stand. The French champs kept it close well into the second period until Dimitris Diamantidis led an 11-0 Panathinaikos run that set up a 39-27 halftime lead. Nancy did not fold and continued to fight to stay in the game, but never got closer than 8 the rest of the way. Stratos Perperoglou led Panathinaikos with 16 points and 8 rebounds – both Euroleague career highs. Diamantidis added 12 points, Kostas Tsartsaris had 11 and Mike Batiste finished with 10 points for the winners. Ricardo Greer scored 21 to lead Nancy, Lamayne Wilson added 14 and Victor Samnick and John Cox netted 11 apiece.

In front of a surprisingly quiet crowd, Panathinaikos came out rather lackluster on both ends and Wilson took advantage to give the visitors a 2-5 lead. However with Sarunas Jacikevicius navigating the ship, it wasn’t long before the hosts found some rhythm offensively. Saras handed out a couple of assists and Perperoglou scored from inside and beyond the arc to give Panathinaikos an 11-7 lead. The Greens remained rather lethargic on defense, but Nancy was unable to punish them as the guests continued to misfire. Eventually Samnick found some space in the paint to cut the deficit to 13-11, only to be bettered by Perperoglou who buried a triple to stir the crowd. Still, Panathinaikos was turnover-prone – having committed 7 turnovers already – and Nancy managed to stay close as Michel Morandais scored to make it 17-15 at the end of the first quarter.

Tsartsaris sank a free throw, but Ricardo Greer responded with a smooth lob as the tempo picked up in the second period. Drew Nicholas finally knocked down a triple after 3 failed attempts, but Cox copied him and then Wilson stole the ball from Diamantidis to give Nancy its first lead, 21-22. After a Panathinaikos timeout, Diamantidis took revenge with a pair of three-pointers and an assist to Antonis Fotsis in a 9-0 run. Nancy could not break the ice on offense and at the other end Batiste's spin-move to the basket and dunk with authority forged a double-digit advantage, 32-22. The guests were held to 10-out of-30 shooting until Cox fired in a triple to score Nancy's first basket after more than four minutes. After Fotsis failed to connect on a three-pointer, Samnick pulled Nancy within 32-27. However Panathinaikos had four players score in 7-0 run to build a 39-27 lead at intermission.

The second half commenced with Fotsis scoring in transition, but Ricardo Greer calmly sank back-to-back triples to slice the margin to single-digits, 42-33. That apparently annoyed Jasikevicius, who took over the game with 5 points and a no-look assist to build back a 49-34 margin. However the hosts were unable to put the game away and Nancy continued to try to claw its way back. Samnick scored to bring the guests within 49-38 and a few possessions Cox unleashed his third triple to cut the led to 55-46. However, despite a jaw-dropping one-handed dunk by Wilson, Panathinaikos remained ahead 60-50 with 10 minutes left to play.

The fourth quarter got underway with Dusan Sakota missing an open triple. Jeff Greer grabbed an offensive rebound and scored, but Sakota bounced back with a pair of triples from the corner to give Panathinaikos a 68-54 cushion. Batiste followed Wilson’s triple with two close baskets and soon went to the bench for some recuperation. Youngster Giorgi Shermadini came in to score a free throw and get some cheers from the fans. Wilson knocked down a pretty turn-around jumper and Ricardo Greer nailed a triple to put Nancy within 76-67 with three minutes remaining. The guests were now dominating the offensive boards, however three-point shooting was not their best asset and Panathinaikos was able to hold on for the 83-69 victory.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Epameinondas Tsakalos, Athens
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Attendance: 4500
By Quarter1234
Panathinaikos Athens17222123
SLUC Nancy15122319
End of Quarter1234
Panathinaikos Athens17396083
SLUC Nancy15275069
Panathinaikos Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 KECMAN, DUSAN 6:10 2 1/1 0/1   1 1 2 2         3   2
6 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 16:51 7 2/3 0/1 3/4       2   1     1 3 7
7 PERPEROGLOU, STRATOS 20:06 16 2/2 3/4 3/4 3 5 8   1 1 1   2 2 23
8 BATISTE, MIKE 25:55 10 5/6       6 6 2 1 1     2 5 20
9 FOTSIS, ANTONIS 13:39 5 1/1 1/3     3 3   2 1     1   6
10 HATZIVRETTAS, NIKOS 7:24 1 0/1   1/2   1 1 1       1 1 1  
11 NICHOLAS, DREW 28:02 5 1/3 1/6     1 1 3 1         1 4
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 20:46 11 4/6   3/6 2 5 7   1 3     2 4 13
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 21:13 12   4/6     2 2 2 3 3       4 18
15 SAKOTA, DUSAN 13:13 8 1/1 2/4   1 1 2     1     3   4
16 SHERMADINI, GIORGI 10:16 1 0/3 0/1 1/2   1 1   1 1 1 1 2 1 -4
19 JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS 16:25 5 1/2 1/3         4 1 1       1 7
Team                   1           1
Totals 200:00 83 18/29 12/29 11/18 7 26 33 16 12 13 2 2 17 22 101
        62.1% 41.4% 61.1%
Min: Minutes played; Pts: Points; 2FG M-A: 2-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); 3FG M-A: 3-point Field Goals (Made-Attempted); FT M-A: Free Throws (Made-Attempted); Rebounds: O (Offensive), D (Defensive), T (Total); As: Assists; St: Steals; To: Turnovers; Bl: Blocks (Fv: In Favor / Ag: Against); Fouls: Cm (Commited), Rv (Received); PIR: Performance Index Rating
SLUC Nancy
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 COX, JOHN 24:09 11 1/3 3/5   1 2 3     1 1   3 2 9
5 MORANDAIS, MICHEL 17:25 4 2/3 0/3   1 2 3 1 1       1   4
6 WILSON, LAMAYNE 40:00 14 4/9 2/7     2 2 2 2 2     3 1 6
7 JULIAN, CYRIL DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
8 GREER, JEFF 22:35 8 1/2 1/6 3/3 4 3 7     2     3 1 5
10 TCHICAMBOUD, STEED 19:14   0/3 0/2   3 1 4 4 2 4   1 2   -2
11 ABOUBAKAR ZAKI, AMADOU 20:10       0/2 1 5 6     1 1   1 2 5
13 SAMNICK, VICTOR 19:50 11 5/8 0/1 1/2 1 1 2   1 1     5 3 6
14 GREER, RICARDO 35:26 21 6/10 2/6 3/5 3 3 6 2 1 7   1 4 8 16
15 NJOYA, SAIDOU 1:11               1             1
Team           2 2 4               4
Totals 200:00 69 19/38 8/30 7/12 16 21 37 10 7 18 2 2 22 17 54
        50% 26.7% 58.3%

Head Coaches

Panathinaikos Athens
"We said before the game that the key would be controlling the rebounds. We allowed Nancy to get 16 offensive rebounds tonight, just too many. We also committed many turnovers. We began playing better in the second quarter. We had the same problem that we had in the previous game. We committed too many turnovers for no apparent reason and missed open shots, too. We missed too many open three-point shots and we only got 5 for 15 from that range in the second half, when most of them were open shots. The good thing was that I gave everyone the chance to play and that is important. I want to make clear what I mean about rebounds. Nancy got too many, coming into the game with only two big guys and without their center Cyril Julian, who was injured tonight. Out of the 16 offensive rebounds they got, 14 were taken by their perimeter players."
SLUC Nancy
“Congratulations to Panathinaikos. It is one of the best teams in Europe year after year. First and foremost, our challenge was to stay in the game. It was not easy because of the injury to our starting center Cyril Julian. We were behind in the second quarter and were hoping that few more three-pointers would bring us closer, as was the case in our previous match at home. We attempted as many three-pointers as Panathinaikos did, however our opponent scored 4 more than we did and here you have the final score. I wish Panathinaikos and its coach the best for the future. I’m a great fan of coach Obradovic. I have learned a lot watching his teams play. He knows how to perform and how to make his team great. Nancy is a young team in the Euroleague and we are trying to come up to this level. We didn’t do that bad tonight. There are two games for us left. We hope to get Julian back to help us with those and, perhaps, after Christmas we will have one more guy to contribute. Our goal was tough, as we were in a regular season group with Barcelona, Montepaschi and Panathinaikos. Any group with those three is a tough one.”


Panathinaikos Athens
"Obviously, just like in the first game in France, we missed many open shots, but in the end we were able to win. But it wasn’t nearly as close to a good or a perfect game for us. I don’t know why, but something wasn’t there tonight. The game against Siena is a very, very important game for us, because we stated at the beginning of the year that we wanted to try to finish as high as we can in the regular season. Now that Barcelona is in the driver’s seat, we still want to finish as high as we can because everybody knows how important the ranking can be for the Top 16."
Panathinaikos Athens
"In some parts of the game we were not very focused, but when it counted we played better. We started to find our rhythm in defense in the second quarter and carried on in the second half. The match against Montepaschi will definitely will be a final. We will have to go there to win the match and second place. It is important because we want to finish in the highest possible position."
SLUC Nancy
"It was a good game. It is always tough to play against a team like Panathinaikos. They have a great coach and great players. Their guys on the bench can play in any team in Europe. I am happy for the effort we gave tonight. We now have to think about our next game. I try to play as hard as I can. I hurt my foot in the last game against Prokom. It has been tough for me these couple of weeks, playing hurt, but I played for the guys and our fans."
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