Panathinaikos keep pressure on Madrid with Valencia win
EUROLEAGUE REGULAR SEASON - ROUND 29
|Panathinaikos||75 - 56||Valencia|
|(23 - 13)
(40 - 31)
(57 - 47)
(75 - 56)
Panathinaikos’ push for home court advantage in the EuroLeague playoffs is running out of time, but pressure remains on Real Madrid following Friday’s results…
A 75-56 demolition of Valencia Basket at the OAKA on Friday night has kept Panathinaikos in the discussion for home court advantage heading into the final round of EuroLeague fixtures next week.
Nick Calathes inspired Panathinaikos with another trademark double-double as he tallied 17 points and 10 assists on the night, while Adreian Payne enjoyed his best night in a Panathinaikos shirt as he tallied 12 points and 8 assists in the rout.
Valencia, who were eliminated from playoff contention several weeks ago, were led by Erick Green as the American tallied 10 points on a night that he finished as Valencia’s lone double-digit scorer.
Panathinaikos dictated terms early on as the Trifylli surged to a 10-point lead by the end of the first quarter (23-13).
Valencia held their ground in the second frame as a tight quarter kept Panathinaikos in check as the Spanish side avoided a double-digit deficit at the interval (40-31).
Panathinaikos regained their double-digit lead in the third quarter despite another tight frame in the Greek capital as both sides had now traded tight-scoring frames.
Despite the back-and-forth scoring in the second and third quarters, Panathinaikos increased the pressure in the fourth quarter as the Greek Champions limited Valencia to just 9 points in the final frame en route to an 18-9 run in the final quarter.
The win solidified Panathinaikos’ grip on fifth spot in the EuroLeague standings, though the Trifylli are certainly eyeing fourth place, which is currently occupied by Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Panathinaikos will hope for a favour from Brose Bamberg, who visit Real Madrid next week, as only the combination of a Panathinaikos win against AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan and a Madrid loss against Bamberg will allow the Trifylli to leapfrog Madrid in the standings.