2010-11PlayoffsGame 3
March 29, 2011 CET: 20:45
Local time: 21:45 OAKA
Players Panathinaikos celebrates - EB10

Panathinaikos topped Regal FC Barcelona 76-74

Panathinaikos got within one win to reach the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four by downing defending champion Regal FC Barcelona 76-74 in Game 3 of their best-of-five Quarterfinal Playoffs series in front of a sellout crowd of 19,000 at OAKA in Athens, Greece on Tuesday. Panathinaikos has a 2-1 lead in the series and will reach the 2011 Final Four, dethroning Barcelona in the process, with another win, which could come when both teams meet again at OAKA on Thursday. Barcelona is in a do-or-die situation, as it must win in Athens to force Game 5, that would take place at Palau Blaugrana next week. Dimitris Diamantidis paced the winners with 18 points on 11-of-14 free throws and 7 assists. Drew Nicholas added 13 points, Mike Batiste had 12 while Antonis Fotsis got 10 for Panathinaikos. Ricky Rubio led Barcelona with 16 points on 4-of-5 three-pointers. Jaka Lakovic added 13, Alan Anderson had 12 while Terence Morris got 10 for the guests, that trailed 55-49 after three quarters. Barcelona rallied and regained the lead, 61-63, midway through the fourth quarter. It all came down to the final 14 seconds, as free throws by Anderson got Barcelona within 72-71. Diamantidis buried 4-of-4 free throws in crunch time and several tactic fouls helped the Greens to seal a key win in front of its outstanding crowd.

Nick Calathes got Panathinaikos going with a layup off a steal and Ian Vougioukas added free throws but Rubio followed a mid-range jumper with a top-in for a 4-4 tie. Kostas Tsartsaris nailed a wide open triple, as Panathinaikos kept denying passing lines to force Barcelona to play one-on-one. Batiste set the crowd on fire with consecutive dunks that boosted the Greens' lead to 11-4. Anderson tried to change things with a fast break slam and a corner three-pointer to get Barcelona as close as 11-9. Panathinaikos brought Fotsis and Nicholas to had better scoring options but Barcelona had adjusted its man-to-man defense. Boni Ndong split free throws, as the Greens had been scoreless for more than 3 minutes already. Fotsis rescued Panathinaikos with a corner triple and Calathes added a fallaway jumper to give the hosts some fresh air, 16-10. Lakovic sank a three-pointer to get Barcelona within 16-13 after 10 intense minutes.

Both teams struggled to score early in the second quarter until Ndong stepped up with a backdoor layup. Morris soon added a six-meter jumper that gave Barcelona its first lead of the night, 16-17. A wild dunk by Morris capped a 0-9 run, as Nicholas followed a driving basket with free throws, good for a 20-19 lead. Fotsis struck again from downtown, making Barcelona call timeout at 23-19. Roger Grimau took over with a fast break layup that Fotsis matched with free throws. The Greens tried a more versatile lineup with Kostas Kaimakoglou and Stratos Perperoglou at both forwards, as Barcelona tried to get Juan Carlos Navarro involved. Perperoglou split fre throws and added a long two-pointer for a 28-22 score. Navarro hit a left-handed layup in traffic and a high-flying put-back dunk by Vazquez got the guests as close as 28-26. Diamantidis struck from downtown and added foul shots but Lakovic joined the three-point shootout to fix the halfime score at 33-29.

Batiste dunked it again right after the break but Rubio nailed back-to-back three-pointers to tie it at 35-35. Diamantidis provided a highlight with an off-balance driving layup but Anderson bettered that with a triple that put the guests back ahead, 37-38. Tsartsaris stepped up with a put-back basket and Batiste added a five-meter jumper to put the Greens back ahead, 41-38. Navarro and Calathes traded long two-pointers and a free throw by Diamantidis gave his team a 44-40 edge. Rubio buried his third triple but Nicholas banked in a driving shot and sank his own shot from downtown to send the crowd to their feet, 49-43. Barcelona coach Xavi Pascual tried Lakovic at point guard to add a new scoring threat. Navarro and Vazquez made free throws but a two-handed dunk by Batiste kept the Greens way ahead, 52-45. Vazquez took over with a three-point play that Sato matched with a corner triple. Lakovic split foul shots but only managed to bring Barcelona within 55-49 after 30 minutes.

Morris buried a three-pointer early in the fourth quarter, as Barcelona tried Victor Sada to put pressure on Diamantidis - but he picked up two quick fouls and went back to the bench. Batiste hit a jump hook that Morris bettered with another triple. Fotsis scored down low but Lakovic joined the three-point shootout to get the defending champions within 59-58. Nicholas hit a jumper but Rubio answered from downtown and a fast break layup by Joe Ingles completed the guests' comeback, 61-63, making the Greens call timeout. Nicholas shined with an acrobatic basket, Tsartsaris and Diamantidis split foul shots but a jumper by Lakovic tied it again, 65-65, with 3 minutes to go. Diamantidis did not miss from the foul line and Romain Sato nailed a critical three-pointer from the top of the key that forced Barcelona to stop the game, 70-65. Navarro scored in penetration and added free throws for a 70-69 score with 1:47 left. Diamantidis scored again, Batiste collected a key steal but Fotsis missed from way downtown already in the final minute. Vazquez missed around the basket but a turnover by Sato gave the guests the ball back with 16.7 seconds to go. Anderson hit foul shots and matched Diamantidis' free throws with a layup for a 74-73 score with 4 seconds left. Diamantidis made more free throws and Panathinaikos fouled on Lakovic with 2 seconds left. He missed his second shot on purpose but Barcelona could not get a shot up in time, allowing all Panathinaikos fans to celebrate a pivotal win!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
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Attendance: 19000 (Tentative)
By Quarter1234
Panathinaikos Athens16172221
Regal Barcelona13162025
End of Quarter1234
Panathinaikos Athens16335576
Regal Barcelona13294974
Panathinaikos Athens
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 TEPIC, MILENKO 0:48                              
6 MARIC, ALEKS 3:34   0/1     1   1     1         -1
7 PERPEROGLOU, STRATOS 8:50 3 1/1   1/2   1 1           3 1 1
8 BATISTE, MIKE 26:47 12 6/11     3 3 6 3 1 2 2 1 3 2 15
9 FOTSIS, ANTONIS 24:42 10 1/1 2/5 2/2 1 5 6 2   1 1   3 2 14
10 SATO, ROMAIN 28:12 6 0/3 2/3   1 2 3     1     2 2 4
11 NICHOLAS, DREW 26:39 13 4/9 1/3 2/3   2 2 2 1       3 2 9
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 20:07 6 1/3 1/1 1/2 1 6 7   1 1   1 3 1 7
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 32:59 18 2/4 1/4 11/14 1 2 3 7 2 5   1 4 12 24
14 VOUGIOUKAS, IAN 2:01 2     2/2                 2 1 1
15 CALATHES, NICK 22:31 6 3/5     1 2 3 3   2     2   6
18 KAIMAKOGLOU, KOSTAS 2:50   0/1     1 1 2   1           2
Team           2 2 4     1         3
Totals 200:00 76 18/39 7/16 19/25 12 26 38 17 6 14 3 3 25 23 85
        46.2% 43.8% 76%
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
Regal Barcelona
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
8 SADA, VICTOR 9:11     0/3     2 2 4         4   -1
9 RUBIO, RICKY 25:12 16 2/8 4/5   2 2 4 2 3 2     5 2 13
10 LAKOVIC, JAKA 17:15 13 1/3 3/4 2/4         1       1 5 13
11 NAVARRO, JUAN CARLOS 22:55 9 3/4 0/1 3/4   1 1 2   1   1 1 5 11
13 PEROVIC, KOSTA 2:04               1   1     2   -2
17 VAZQUEZ, FRAN 26:35 6 2/5   2/3 2 9 11       2   4 3 14
20 INGLES, JOE 11:53 2 1/1 0/2         1 2       1 1 3
21 NDONG, BONIFACE 7:34 3 1/3   1/3 1 3 4     1   1 2 2 1
23 MORRIS, TERENCE 23:17 10 2/4 2/4   2 1 3 1 1 1   1 1   8
25 LORBEK, ERAZEM 20:27 1 0/1 0/1 1/2 1   1   1   1   1 3 3
32 ANDERSON, ALAN 30:28 12 2/6 2/5 2/2   2 2 2   1       3 11
44 GRIMAU, ROGER 3:09 2 1/2               1     2 1 -1
Team           2   2     3         -1
Totals 200:00 74 15/37 11/25 11/18 10 20 30 13 8 11 3 3 24 25 72
        40.5% 44% 61.1%
Head coach: PASCUAL, XAVI

Head Coaches

Panathinaikos Athens
"The game was difficult and was decided by the details. We could seal the victory earlier but we made some mistakes as a result of nervousness which is normal for such a game. Congratulations to the players of both teams, they deserve it for their effort. Barcelona is still the defending Euroleague champion and is considered the big favorite to repeat it. An outstanding, but now we have the opportunity to put them out. I am proud for everything we have done so far, but on Thursday we will have a more difficult match to play, because Barcelona is now in a do or die situation. We know very well each other, but I am sure that Xavi will try to put something new in his plans, so we have to be ready to react. We decided during the series to let open shoots for Rubio and this is normal, because I prefer him to execute rather than Navarro, Anderson and Morris. Maybe we will change this idea in the Game 4, but I have to say that Rubio has the character for this kind of matches. He is an outstanding player and we know it from the previous seasons. Yesterday I asked our fans to create a great atmosphere and show it everywhere. I thank them for their support, but I ask them not to use the laser."
Regal Barcelona
"Congratulations to Panathinaikos for their win in a game that once again was very balanced. We could win it, but we missed some open shots and this cost us. A three-pointer made by Sato was very important, as it pushed Panathinaikos. We have to solve a major problem in this series: our low percentage in free throws. Tonight we had near to 60% and we have to improve it on Thursday, same as the defensive boards. Now after Game 3 Panathinaikos has the advantage and most chances to advance to the Final Four, but we will fight to return in our house for a Game 5. Navarro had a problem with his physical condition and it was clear on the court. The atmosphere was very positive and I believe that this makes the game attractive."


Panathinaikos Athens
"We are leading 2-1 and we have the possibility to make it to the Final Four on Thursday. Game 3 was unbelievable, but now it is over and we have to concentrate on the next one. First priority is to find energy and keep concentration."
Panathinaikos Athens
"We knew that all games would be very competitive, but our desire to return to the Final Four is really great. Now we are 2-1 ahead and this is a great psychological advantage. Game 4 is a knockout situation and I don't think that we can expect major tactical changes, but we have to correct some mistakes. This is exactly the potential of both teams. Everything will depend on heart and passion."
Regal Barcelona
"The loss is tough especially because of the factors that caused it. There were some moments in which we clicked, but in others not so much. We left Sato for a few open shots that were our mistakes. What we need is to be respected, as we do with everyone else. A player like Juan Carlos Navarro deserves much more respect than what has been shown in these games."
Regal Barcelona
"We are sad for the loss, but I think we can be happy about our level. It is very hard to play at OAKA. All the games are being very similar, all very balanced. We have to keep our cool, we know nobody will give us anything. We have to get back on our feet and believe in ourselves. Panathinaikos plays hard one the verge of the foul in every play."
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