Athens Conquer Bamberg
Stechert Arena, Bamberg – In their last home game of this season’s Euroleague Top 16, the Brose Baskets hosted the Greek giants of Panathinaikos, who needed a win in order to clinch a playoff spot.
Brose’s situation was very well different, since they abandoned their playoff hopes long ago and were not able to win a single game during this second stage of the competition. This was their last chance at home, but the Baskets could not handle Panathinaikos’ determination to get the victory throughout the whole game. In the end Argiris Pedoulakis’ side prevailed quite easily, winning 82-60.
Panathinaikos’ Jonas Maciulis led all scorers with 24 points, with an astonishing 6-of-7 beyond the arc. The visitors dominated on the boards as well, outrebounding Brose 34-23.
The Greek side set the tone from the very beginning of the game thanks to the early efforts of their two big men, Sofoklis Schortsanitis and James Gist. As for Bamberg, Casey Jacobsen and Bostjan Nachbar helped the team stay close, but Maciulis and Greek veteran Dmitris Diamantidis’ three pointers allowed the green side to extend the lead to 10 points at the end of the first quarter, 26-16.
From that moment on Panathinaikos only had to control this double-digit lead. In the second quarter a couple of alley oops by Gist and Lasme Stephane, who were in both occasions well assisted by Diamantidis, provided some real highlights to the game. At the end of the first half the Greeks extended their lead to 15 points, 42-27. Brose were not able to close the gap throughout the second half, also because Maciulis started his personal show from downtown by knocking down five treys in the last quarter.
Panathinaikos win improves their record to 9-4 and are qualified for the next round, the Euroleague playoffs. Their goal, like all the teams, is the Final Four in London May 10-12. They will host group leader CSKA Moscow (10-3) and try to move up in the standings of the group.
Brose Basket fall to 0-13 in this round and will end their European campaign next week in Lithuania. Their next opponent will be Zalgiris Kaunas, who defeated Bamberg 88-87 in overtime back on February 14th.