He melted in the “hot” OAKA Maccabi and returned to where “Exasteros” belongs!


He returned to the elite of European basketball, where “Exasteros” belongs!

Twelve years… you itch it was a lot for his team Panathinaikou AKTORwho after the 2011/12 season, celebrates the qualification to the Final 4 of the Euroleague, bending in the… furnace of OAKA the Maccabi Tel Aviv with a score of 81-72 in the 5th and last match between them in the playoffs!

By making one dream fourth and last quarter in defense and attack, and with the crowd in the Olympic facilities chanting the slogan of victory, the “greens” took the coveted 3rd postseason win they’ve been looking for for so many yearschecking out the Berlin Final 4 ticket!

Amazing performance by Kendrick Nunn, with the American guard finishing the game with 26 points (2/7d., 6/10tr.), 5 rebounds and 4 assists, scoring 13 points in the last critical period! The leader was also excellent, Kostas Sloukas, who, although he had a calf problem from halftime onwards, finished the match with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists.

Important help was also provided by Ioannis Papapetrou and Matias Lessorwith the first having 10 points and the second 9 points (3/14 shots of course) and 11 rebounds!

As in the 2011/12 season, history eventually repeated itself and had a “happy ending” for Panathinaikos, as well as then had eliminated “the people’s team” in Game 5!

Now, the “clover” will face at semi-finals of the event (May 24-26) the winner of tomorrow’s (05/08) Game 5 between Monaco and the Fenerbahce in the Principality.

The match:

Without surprises, the two teams lined up at the start of the match, with Panathinaikos to start with Slukas, Nan, Papapetrou, Mitoglou and Lessor in his starting five and Maccabi with Brown, DiBartolomeo, Cohen, Colson and Nimbo. It was a nervous start to the match, with the “greens” making two errors in the Sluka-Lessor partnership, with the Frenchman opening the scoring before Cohen and DiBartolomeo responded and with a short 5-0 run gave the Israelis the lead (2-5) in the first 2 minutes.

Panathinaikos AKTOR-Maccabi:

With the guests to find aggressive pace, the “green” defense faced difficulties in the first part of the match. This resulted in Maccabi leading by +5 (4-9) and shortly after with +7 (8-15) at 6′thanks to Nimbo and Lorenzo Brown. At that point, the Greens turned up the heat offensively with back-to-back 3-pointers by Nan and Grant reduced to 14-18, before the Juancho, Slukas and Lessor “nibble” the difference again in the last minute, closing the quarter with a score of 19-21.

Panathinaikos AKTOR-Maccabi:

With Nan’s second three-pointer of the match on his first attack second quarter, Panathinaikos went ahead with 22-21, for the first time since the initial 2-0. Blatt, Nimbo and Rivero answered for Maccabi (24-28) in the 13th minute, with the “clover” with a quick 5-0 run to overtake and 29-28 at 14′. From then on, the match became a… rodeo, with the lead constantly changing hands.

THE defense of Panathinaikos had improved significantly, however, Maccabi found ways to break the “green” wall and with versatility in attack, preceded with +5 for 34-39 at 17′. With a terrible Kostas Sloukas (12p., 4r., 2as.), but also with Papapetrou finding 5 points in the final, Panathinaikos came back again, with both teams going to the dressing room in absolute balance with a score of 41-41.

Panathinaikos AKTOR-Maccabi:

The scene was different in third quarter, where the defenses, the intensity and the criticality of the match, created nervousness in both teams, as a result of which the score remained low. Both went hand in hand in the score as neither allowed the other to build a good lead. Brown’s 6th point of the game gave Maccabi a 43-41 lead, with Papapetrou answering (43-43) before Colson’s 3-pointer made the 43-46 in the first three minutes of the period.

Kendrick Nunn and Kostas Sloukas with two big threes put Panathinaikos back in front of the score (49-46) at 24′, with DiBartolomeo equalizing by “striking” in the same way for 49-49 at 25′. On the other, the… exasperating failure of Lessor from the line in this first half of the period with 0/6 and 2/12 shooting overall, created a nervousness in the “cloverleaf”, with Maccabi taking advantage and with four quick points from Niebo to makes the 49-53 in the 26th minute. In the remaining minutes of the period, however, Panathinaikos increased its intensity and defensive performance, and with Juancho at the tip of the spear, he ran a 9-3 individual score, closing out the quarter ahead with a score of 58-56keeping Maccabi at zero for 2:37 minutes!

Panathinaikos AKTOR-Maccabi:

With the “flaming” OAKA entering the equation, Ergin Ataman’s team continued to chew irons in the defense in the fourth and last quarter, keeping Maccabi without a point for another 4 minutes! Panathinaikos entered the period with two steals and a basket to the surprise of Kalaitzakis, with Kendrick Nunn to take his “weapon” and with 4 points in a row to send the home team at +8 for 64-56 in the 33rd minute! A little later, the shot of the American from a technical penalty, and those of Mitoglou, sent the difference to double digits for the first time (68-58) at 35′.

Maccabi responded by “breaking out” offensively with three consecutive three-pointers by Blatt and Brown (two), however, the difference was not enough, as Nunn was there to “execute” his opponent with five points for 73-67 at 37′! However, two two-pointers by Lessor then made the difference again at +10 (77-67)by Kendrick Nunn (13 points in the first quarter) to “lock” the pink match sheet and qualification to the Final 4 at 54 seconds before the final, with a huge three-pointer for 81-69, with Maccabi just cutting back in the final 81-72!

The quarters: 19-21, 41-41, 58-56, 81-72.

See here the statistics of the match.

Source: Sport Fm

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