2009-10Regular SeasonRound 6
December 03, 2009 CET: 18:00
Local time: 19:00 OAKA

Panathinaikos, which stopped Milano 80-68

Panathinaikos took care of business on Thursday evening at OAKA, dealing Armani Jeans Milano an 80-68 defeat. With yet another convincing home win, the defending Euroleague champions remain tied atop Group D with a 5-1 record. The Greens face a tough test when they visit third placed BC Khimki next week. Meanwhile Milano fell to 1-5 and will host German champion EWE Baskets Oldenburg in Week 7. Panathinaikos won the first meeting with Milano in Week 1 by pulling away in the fourth quarter, but this game was decided much earlier as the hosts simply dominated all the way with great balance between post and perimeter players and suffocating man-to-man defense. Panathinaikos won the battle of the boards 33-27 and the Greens’ ball movement led to 69% shooting from inside the arc. But Milano never gave up. Down by 15 going into the fourth quarter, head coach Piero Bucchi’s men rolled off a 0-9 run to cut the lead to just 6 before Mike Batiste and Nikola Pekovic took control once again for Panathinaikos. Pekovic led the way with 16 points for the winners. Batiste seconded his partner inside with 12 points off the bench while Stratos Perperoglou added 11 more. Sarunas Jasikevicius returned to the court for the first time this Euroleague season and showed he has not lost step by scoring 4 points and dishing out 3 assists in 14 minutes on the court. Jonas Maciulis paced Milano with 17 points and 4 rebounds and Mike Hall added 10 points and 5 boards in the losing effort.

Antonis Fotsis opened the scoring with a pair of free throws and on the very next possession Pekovic passed from the high post to an open Fotsis on the baseline for an easy bucket. Perperoglou drained a three from the wing and the home team was quickly up 7-0. Stefano Mancinelli tried to jumpstart the sluggish Armani Jeans attack with a three from the top of the arc, but Pekovic earned a trip to the line where he made both free throws. Panathinaikos got into the bonus at the 6:16 mark, and Pekovic tossed in 2 more from the foul line. Marco Mordente weaved his way in for a short jumper, but Fotsis found Pekovic, who had perfect position under the glass, for a layup. Jeff Viggiano came off the bench and nailed a three from the corner for Milano. Joey Beard blocked a shot by Batiste, but next trip down Batiste took him outside and swished a jumper. Panathinaikos went ahead 19-8 on a deep jumper by Drew Nicholas. Viggiano nailed his second three from the left side, but Batiste converted a 2-plus-1 as the Greens spread the floor and let him work on Hall alone in the low blocks. Jasikevicius took the court for the first time this season and did not take long to make his presence felt. The star point guard pulled in an offensive board and whipped a no-look pass to Kostas Tsartsaris for a dunk and on the next play Jasikevicius found Milenko Tepic open on the wing for a three to end the quarter 27-12.

Tsartsaris made a layup to open the second period. Maciulis hit a pair of free throws for the visitors, but Jasikevicius showed there was no rust on his wheels by hitting a long jumper. Maciulis and Hall hit back-to-back threes and Massimo Bulleri added 2 foul shots to cap a 0-8 run to get the deficit down to 31-21. Batiste answered with a half hook, Fotsis made a put back and Giorgi Shermadini gave the home side a 37-23 lead on a field goal. Perperoglou made an excellent block of a breakaway dunk attempt by Viggiano, but Finley drove hard and banked home a short floater. Nicholas hit right back with a three-pointer. The Panathinaikos defense kept forcing Milano into tough perimeter shots, but fortunately for the visitors Hall slammed home a missed three by Finley. Hall hit again inside and Mordente hit a three to cut the lead to 12 points before Fotsis scored inside. Mason Rocca made a pair of free throws and Armani Jeans went into the half down 44-32.

Milano turned up the defense coming out of the locker room but missed some easy shots and could not cut further into the Panathinaikos lead. Pekovic went 1-of-2 from the foul line before Maciulis finally got a layup to fall. Again Pekovic got deep position and converted a 2-plus-1, and Perperoglou added a turnaround jumper in the lane to put Panathinaikos ahead by 16. Hall checked in and made an impact on defense, drawing an offensive foul on Pekovic and blocking a shot by Vassilis Spanoulis, but the Panathinaikos point guard would come back to score 5 free throws with Diamantidis adding one more to give the Greens a 56-36 advantage. Mordente finally got a three to fall, and Hall made a great tip in off the glass. Batiste, too strong, powered his way in for a layup, and Spanoulis fed a trailing Fotsis for an easy 2 points. Batiste attacked the basket and was rewarded with 2 foul shots that he promptly sank. Bulleri matched him with 2 of his own, but Jasikevicius showed some quickness getting to the glass for a layup. Hall did what he could, drilling a three-pointer, but Panathinaikos went into the final period enjoying a 63-48 advantage.

Milano began the fourth quarter playing hard defense, but this time the visitors were able to capitalize on their defensive stops as Rocca made back-to-back layups to cut the deficit to 13 points and force Panathinaikos head coach Zeljko Obradovic to call for time. The stoppage of play did not help his team as Maciulis nailed a three and after a turnover by Jasikevicius, the Milano forward added a breakaway dunk to get the lead down to 63-57 and breath life back into the game. Batiste stepped up and hit a big outside jumper to cut the 0-9 Milano run. Panathinaikos settled down on defense and put the game to sleep. Pekovic added a pair of free throws to get the lead back to 10 points. Spanoulis made 2 more foul shots before Maciulis scored a layup. Perperoglou hit a jumper and Spanoulis swished a big three to push the lead back to 74-61. Finley hit back with a triple from the top of the key, but Perperoglou drove in for pretty layup and Panathinaikos coasted to a comfortable 80-69 win.

Thursday, December 3, 2009
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Attendance: 4850
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Armani Jeans Milano12201620
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Armani Jeans Milano12324868
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
5 TEPIC, MILENKO 6:43 3   1/2                   3   -1
6 SPANOULIS, VASSILIS 23:58 8 0/1 1/2 5/6   1 1 1 1 2   1 3 5 7
7 PERPEROGLOU, STRATOS 24:29 11 4/5 1/4     2 2 2 3 1 1   2 3 15
8 BATISTE, MIKE 18:08 12 5/6   2/3 1 2 3     4   1 3 6 11
9 FOTSIS, ANTONIS 24:12 8 3/4 0/1 2/2 2 6 8 1 1 1     1 1 15
11 NICHOLAS, DREW 22:47 5 1/2 1/5     2 2   2 2         2
12 TSARTSARIS, KOSTAS 14:29 4 2/3 0/1   1 1 2 1   2     2   1
13 DIAMANTIDIS, DIMITRIS 21:54 5 1/1   3/4   1 1 3 1 1     2 1 7
14 PEKOVIC, NIKOLA 15:05 16 3/5   10/14   2 2 1   1   1 2 11 20
15 CALATHES, NICK 10:33     0/3 0/2           1       1 -5
16 SHERMADINI, GIORGI 3:41 4 2/4   0/2 3 1 4   1         1 6
19 JASIKEVICIUS, SARUNAS 14:01 4 2/2 0/1   1 2 3 3 1 3     1   6
Team           2 3 5               5
Totals 200:00 80 23/33 4/19 22/33 10 23 33 12 10 18 1 3 19 29 89
        69.7% 21.1% 66.7%
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
Armani Jeans Milano
  Rebounds Blocks Fouls
# Player Min Pts 2FG 3FG FT O D T As St To Fv Ag Cm Rv PIR
6 MANCINELLI, STEFANO 23:14 3 0/1 1/2     2 2 1 2 4     5   -3
7 HALL, MIKE 29:30 10 2/3 2/7   3 2 5 2 2 1 1   3 1 11
8 MACIULIS, JONAS 26:51 17 5/8 1/5 4/6 2 2 4   1 2     3 6 14
9 MORDENTE, MARCO 20:56 8 1/1 2/4     2 2 2   1     1 1 9
10 FINLEY, MORRIS 23:54 7 2/3 1/3     1 1 1 1 1     4 2 4
11 BULLERI, MASSIMO 21:01 8 1/5 0/2 6/6 1 2 3 3 2 2     3 5 10
12 ROCCA, MASON 16:52 6 2/3   2/2 1 1 2     1     5 2 3
14 CACACE, GIACOMO 0:27                              
15 PETRAVICIUS, MARIUS DNP - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
19 BEARD, JOEY 9:50   0/2     1 3 4   1 2 1   4   -2
20 VIGGIANO, JEFF 27:25 9 0/4 2/2 3/4 1 1 2 3 1 3 1 1 1 2 8
Team             2 2     1     1    
Totals 200:00 68 13/30 9/25 15/18 9 18 27 12 10 18 3 1 30 19 54
        43.3% 36% 83.3%
Head coach: BUCCHI, PIERO

Head Coaches

"It was an important game and I am glad we beat Armani Milano. We had an excellent start and a powerful start during the third period, when we had the answers even when they tried to change their defense. We reacted well; we had high concentration and reached a 15-point lead. The problems started when we opened our rotation. It is easy of course to find out what's wrong when you miss a 20-point lead, but I think all our twelve players deserved to play tonight. As for our 11 missed free throws and 4 out of 19 three-pointers, the solution is always practice and many shots."
Armani Jeans Milano
"I think that the crucial part for us was when we cut the margin to six points. A missed shot and Mason Rocca's fifth foul didn't allow us to come closer and finally cost us another loss. We tried hard, we managed to defend Panathinaikos well during the third period, but definitely it was not enough when you face the Euroleague champs. A positive issue was that we showed character and this is what we will try to hold from this deficit in Athens."


"It was like I fell from the moon and they told me to play. It was a long time since I played my last game before the surgery six months ago and definitely the most difficult part was the rehab. What is important right now is to keep up the hard work and find my rhythm and my physical strength. I would like to say a big thanks to the fans for their warm welcome. It made me feel that I am a basketball player again."
Armani Jeans Milano
"We had the opportunity to accomplish something more that cutting the deficit to six points, but we had foul trouble at that moment and we didn't finish it. Panathinaikos is a very good team, they are the current champs, but when you get in the court you try to do your job. I think we have very good players too and we had a chance at home and in Athens to beat such a team. The second round just started. We play better lately and our goal is to continue to play like this and even harder."
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