Papagiannis's powerful performance propelled Panathinaikos

Nov 26, 2021 by Print
Papagiannis's powerful performance propelled Panathinaikos

Georgios Papagiannis has shown glimpses of his potential throughout the season. But the Panathinaikos OPAP Athens big man had not yet put together a game quite like he did against Zenit St Petersburg - especially in the third quarter.

Papagiannis played a huge role in helping Panathinaikos snap a five-game losing streak by collecting 18 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks for a performance index rating of 31 in the team’s 70-64 win over Zenit.

Looking at the 24-year-old’s stats from the first half makes the final boxscore that much more impressive as he had 2 points and 2 rebounds in the first 20 minutes of action.

“I just said the first half wasn’t very good for me. I didn’t help my team at all. My teammates really got me back in the game. I tried to collect rebounds, first of all. And then we got a really important win for us,” he said after the game.

Papagiannis was a true force in the third quarter. He threw down back-to-back alley-oop dunks and then a little jumper in the lane to put the Greens ahead 41-40. He then blocked two shots on the defensive end and followed with another alley-oop dunk for a 48-42 cushion.

Papagiannis blocked a third shot and then - after missing 4 straight free throws, made up for them with a putback dunk after Alex Poythress blocked Howard Sant-Roos’s layup attempt. He ended the third quarter with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Papagiannis scored the first basket of the fourth quarter and was subbed out with a minor leg injury after falling on that score. He did not have as much impact until the final stages.

Up 64-62, he grabbed a big defensive rebound with 67 seconds left. Then with the shot clock at just 0.9 seconds on an inbounds play, Papagiannis put in an alley-oop pass from Ioannis Papapetrou to make it 66-62 with 44 seconds remaining. He added two more free throws and then blocked the final shot of the game.

Papagiannis’ 18 points were a season-high and equaled his career mark, while the 13 rebounds were the second-most this season. He registered his season-best with 4 blocks and his PIR of 31 was 3 more than his previous career-high.

If Papagiannis can put together more all-around games like this, he could help Panathinaikos to many more wins this season.