2008-09Regular SeasonRound 6
December 03, 2008 CET: 18:30

Panionios edged Real Madrid 68-66

An Aaron Miles coast-to-coast layup in the closing seconds cancelled out one of the biggest comebacks in Euroleague history and gave Panionios On Telecoms a 68-66 win over Real Madrid on Wednesday night in Athens. Marko Tomas tied the score at 66-66 with 6 seconds to go, but the visitors were unable to stop Miles, who blew by Raul Lopez and Axel Hervelle to win it. Panionios won for the third time in its last four games to improve to 3-3 in Group D, the same record that Madrid now has. Madrid, however, sits ahead of Panionios in the standings, since it won their first showdown by 21 in October.

Branko Cvetkovic led Panionios for much of the night and finished with a season-high 21 points, including a pair of clutch free throws to put his team ahead with 19 seconds remaining. Ivan Zoroski added 10 for the winners. Tomas matched his career high with 18 for Madrid, Hervelle recorded 12 points and 9 rebounds and Felipe Reyes finished with 10. Madrid dominated early through Reyes and Lopez to take a 2-10 lead, but Panionios soon woke up as Cvetkovic scored 12 points during an 18-1 tear that bridged the first and second periods as the hosts went ahead for good. Zoroski was next to shine as he pushed Panionios out to a 19-point lead before Madrid cut the gap to 41-25 at halftime. Cvetkovic remained red-hot in the third-period and it was his triple that gave Panionios its biggest lead of the night, 55-27. But Madrid turned things around with 16 unanswered points at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth periods. Alex Mumbru played a big role and Tomas completed the Madrid comeback setting up the wild last minutes. Panionios next visits reigning champion CSKA Moscow, while Madrid returns home to face Partizan Belgrade.

Real Madrid was impressive early in the game, as it not only used some nice passing to score easy layups, but also provided some stifling defense that kept Panionios scoreless for more than three minutes. As a result, the guests jumped out to a 2-10 lead that forced Panionios head coach Aleksandar Trifunovic to call for a timeout. Eventually Panionios found a go-to guy in Cvetkovic, who scored 7 points in a row to pull the hosts within 11-13 and bring the crowd to its feet. With Panionios starting to clamp down on defense, Madrid cooled off offensively all of a sudden and the hosts turned the game topsy-turvy and galloped to a rather unexpected 17 -13 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Cvetkovic started the second period in style, as he first unleashed a triple and then finished the break with a two-handed dunk to stretch the lead to 22-13. Reyes ended the dry spell for Real, yet Panionios was too passionate on defense to allow its opponent find any rhythm offensively. With the 24-second clock ticking down, veteran Yannis Giannoulis scored on a layup to build a double digit lead, 25-15. Then Zoroski picked up the scoring slack and soon Panionios built a whopping 30-17 advantage. The visitors were clearly struggling on offense, having committed already 9 turnovers, unlike Zoroski who nailed a triple to keep Madrid with its back on the wall, 35-18. The guests could not find their way to the basket and only Reyes caused some trouble for Panionios with his constant trips to the charity stripe. In addition, Madrid’s turnovers led to easy points for the hosts at the other and Panionios soon blew the game open 41-22. Finally, Alex Hervelle drilled a buzzer-beating triple, but Madrid was still facing an uphill battle with the halftime score fixed at 41-25.

The second half commenced with Real Madrid determined to redeem itself from its first half blues, however the momentum of the game did not change mostly because the guests were too nervous to turn the tide to their favor. Levon Kendall made a couple of free throws and then both Cvetkovic and Aaron Miles penetrated the defense to propel Panionios to a 47-25 lead. The hosts were dominating in both ends of the floor, as indicated also by the fact that Kendall swatted away a Jeremiah Massey layup attempt. Cvetkovic was too good to let Madrid rally, as he knocked down a triple to widen the gap to unprecedented levels, 55-27. Instead of folding though, Madrid started to dig out of the 28-point hole. Its zone defense slowed down Panionios and allowed the guests to use a 0-9 spurt to show that they weren’t willing to go down without a fight. Cvetkovic split a pair of free throws before Tomas fired in a triple to slice the margin to 56-39. Then, Massey got the offensive board for a bucket and in the waning seconds of the third period, Alex Mumbru scored a wild ,morale boosting, shot from downtown to cut the lead to 60-45.

Tomas stole the ball from Cvetkovic to finish the break as Madrid continued its charge. Suddenly Panionios had lost its composure and Hervelle contributed a three-point play to get Real within 10. Tomas fired in another triple before Trifunovic called a timeout to regroup his forces, yet Panionios was asphyxiating against the zone defense. After a Tomas layup, neither Kalampokis nor Zoroski could get the scoreboard rolling for the hosts. Mumbru wasted 2 free throws chances, but Reyes gobbled up the offensive rebound and Hervelle unleashed a triple to make it a one-basket game, 60-58. Baxter hit a free-throw to contribute Panionios’s first points after six empty minutes. Then Kalampokis slashed to the basket to draw a foul and give Panionios a 63-58 lead, yet Mumbru responded with a triple to pull Madrid within 63-61. Baxter missed a layup and moments later Mumbru stole the ball and fed Tomas who put Real in front 63-64 with 1:20 left to play –his basket capped an amazing 8-37 run. Zoroski tied the game with a free throw and Hervelle missed from downtown. With 29 seconds to go, Cvetkovic did not falter from the line, so Madrid had one last chance to stun the hosts and escape with the away win. Lopez’s triple went off target, but he grabbed the offensive board and Tomas hit 2 free throws to tie the game with 6 seconds remaining. Miles flashed to the basket, scoring a gutsy layup and Panionios came out victorious, 68-66, in a thrilling match.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Epameinondas Tsakalos, Athens
No results found.
Attendance: 2000
By Quarter1234
Panionios On Telecoms1724198
Real Madrid13122021
End of Quarter1234
Panionios On Telecoms17416068
Real Madrid13254566
Panionios On Telecoms
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
4 XANTHOPOULOS, VASSILIS 16:14 4 1/1   2/3   1 1 1   1     2 3 5
5 CVETKOVIC, BRANKO 26:56 21 3/7 3/7 6/8   4 4 1 2 3   3 1 8 19
6 ZOROSKI, IVAN 18:39 10 1/2 1/2 5/6   2 2 1 3       2 3 14
7 GEORGALLIS, IOANNIS 4:48 2 1/1     2   2           1   3
10 KALAMPOKIS, GIANNIS 22:48 6 1/2 0/2 4/4   2 2 1   2     5 6 5
11 MILES, AARON 31:37 7 2/3 0/2 3/4   2 2 3 3 5   1 4 2 3
12 RAICEVIC, MIROSLAV 5:31           1 1               1
14 KENDALL, LEVON 19:23 5 1/4 0/1 3/4 1 1 2 5 2 1 1   4 2 7
15 GIANNOULIS, YANNIS 12:32 2 1/3   0/1   1 1         1 2 1 -2
17 NIKOLIC, GORAN 4:40                         1   -1
18 BAXTER, LONNY 22:32 8 3/6   2/3   3 3     2 1   4 3 5
19 DIKOUDIS, DIMOS 14:20 3 1/2   1/2 1 2 3           2 1 3
Team           3   3               3
Totals 200:00 68 15/31 4/14 26/35 7 19 26 12 10 14 2 5 28 29 65
        48.4% 28.6% 74.3%
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
Real Madrid
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 SANCHEZ, PEPE 4:38                   1     2 2 -1
7 HOSLEY, QUINTON 18:08 3 1/2 0/1 1/2 2 1 3     1 3   2 3 6
8 PEREZ, JAVIER DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
9 REYES, FELIPE 18:26 10 3/7   4/4 3 3 6 1 1 2     5 3 10
14 PAPADOPOULOS, LAZAROS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
15 MUMBRU, ALEX 17:20 6   2/6 0/2 1 2 3 1 2 3     5 2  
17 HERVELLE, AXEL 24:57 12 2/3 2/4 2/3 3 6 9           3 3 17
21 MASSEY, JEREMIAH 36:37 9 4/9 0/2 1/4 2 4 6   1 3 1 2 3 3 2
22 BULLOCK, LOUIS 9:25   0/1 0/2             4     5 1 -11
23 LLULL, SERGIO 14:49 1   0/2 1/2 1   1 3   1 1   3 1  
24 LOPEZ, RAUL 29:03 7 2/4 0/5 3/4 1 1 2 4   1     1 2 5
33 TOMAS, MARKO 26:37 18 4/4 2/4 4/6 1 2 3 3 1 1     1 8 27
Team           1 2 3               3
Totals 200:00 66 16/30 6/26 16/27 15 21 36 12 5 17 5 2 30 28 58
        53.3% 23.1% 59.3%
Head coach: PLAZA, JOAN

Head Coaches

Panionios On Telecoms
"We are very happy that we defeated Real Madrid. But what was even more important tonight was that once again we managed to stay competitive. This win keeps our chances for qualification alive. We had great motivation tonight, but generally our psychology is not on the level that it should be. We still don't have the 'killer instinct'. It's something that we miss at the moment. We played great basketball for 25 minutes - huge defense, huge will, huge rebounding - and we were awarded with some easy baskets. When Real switched to zone defense, we blocked. We didn't function and everyone started to think about scoring. More than scoring though, what hurt us more was that we lost our rhythm, especially on defense. We lost many rebounds in the final minutes. The bottom line is, however, that our team can compete against anybody, anywhere."
Real Madrid
"We are unhappy not just for the result, but also because we disappeared in the second quarter. We allowed them to dominate. I am upset with myself because we let them take a big lead during the second period. We made a great effort trying to win the game, but that was not enough. When you try to rally back, you are very tired and the small details make some difference. So maybe the technical fouls gave them the chance to beat us. Panionios played a good game though, so I want to congratulate them. When the outcome of the game is decided in the final seconds, anything can happen."


Panionios On Telecoms
"It was a crazy match, ideal for a 'heart attack', you know…Until the third period we played great. We had built a 28-point difference. We proved that when we are focused, we can play great, especially on defense. But suddenly we stopped. We couldn't defend anything, perhaps because we thought that Real could not come back. They got a lot of offensive rebounds and put a lot of pressure on us. We were lucky in the end, even though I think that we deserved the win more than Real tonight. It's a great victory for us and gives us motivation to work even harder in order to qualify to the Top 16."
Real Madrid
"It was a really weird match. At the end it was a bit of bad luck for us that we had a chance to win this game. We must learn some lessons. We should be concentrated throughout the game and not just for 20 minutes, as we did today."
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