Barcelona hand Panathinaikos early wake-up call

Barcelona hand Panathinaikos early wake-up call


Barcelona 98 - 71 Panathinaikos
(24 - 20)
(40 - 35)
(65 - 54)
(98 - 71)

Panathinaikos’ domestic success didn’t transfer to the EuroLeague on Friday night as Barcelona ran out big winners in Catalonia…

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Panathinaikos were handed a 98-71 thrashing in the EuroLeague on Friday night at the Palaua Blaugrana, as Barcelona used a 33-point fourth quarter to send an early message to the rest of the field.
Keeping the home side in check for most of the first three quarters, Panathinaikos were trailing by 11 heading into the final frame until Barcelona exploded for 33-points in the final frame – nearly doubling Panathinaikos’ tally in the final quarter.
Nikos Pappas led Panathinaikos with 20 points, but only two Panathinaikos players reached double digits. Meanwhile, Barcelona had five players reach double digits with Kevin Seraphin’s 24 points leading the way for the Blaugrana.
Panathinaikos started out strong to take an early 6-0 lead in the first quarter, but Barcelona stormed back with a 24-14 run to the cap the first frame with a 24-20 lead.
Still in striking distance in the second quarter, Panathinaikos held their own in the lowest scoring quarter. Down 29-20 at one point, Panathinaikos rebounded via big baskets from Nikos Calathes, Kenny Gabriel, and a massive dunk from Ian Vougioukas to make it a 3-point game (32-29). Barcelona would respond before halftime, however, as Seraphin and Thomas Heurtel scored to give Barcelona a 40-35 lead at halftime.
Barcelona would demonstrate their scoring ability in the third quarter with an 11-0 run powering the Catalans in sole control of the game at 51-35. Pappas was Panathinaikos’ only answer in the frame, but even back-to-back three-point plays from the Greek international weren’t enough to kick start a Panathinaikos resurgence as Barcelona held on for a 65-54 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Although Panathinaikos have come back from margins larger than 11 points in the EuroLeague, the Trifylli seemingly quit on a comeback as Barcelona only padded their lead in the final frame. Barcelona tallied 33 points, nearly doubling Panathinaikos’ 17-point tally as the Blaugrana start their campaign 1-0 while Panathinaikos start with a defeat for the first time since the 2015-2016 season.
The win puts Barcelona atop the EuroLeague standings, but only on points differential – the Spanish giants joined by the likes of local rivals Real Madrid and Olympiacos, among others, at the EuroLeague summit. Panathinaikos will be keen to rebound at home against Brose Bamberg in Round 2, while Barcelona will look to stay hot against Serbian side Crvena Zvezda in Belgrade.


by Peter Katsiris
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