Pappas powers Panathinaikos past Fenerbahce

Pappas powers Panathinaikos past Fenerbahce



Panathinaikos 70 - 68 Fenerbahce
(19 - 21)
(36 - 44)
(53 - 55)
(70 - 68)

Nikos Pappas’ clutch three-pointer with half a second left in the fourth quarter gave Panathinaikos a monumental win over Fenerbahce on Friday night…

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Panathinaikos pulled off a major upset in the EuroLeague on Friday night as a late Nikos Pappas three-pointer was just enough to knock-off last year’s winners Fenerbahce 70-68 at OAKA.

Trailing for most of the night, Panathinaikos led early in the first quarter and then again with less than a second left in the game as the Trifylli improved erased the bitter taste of a loss to CSKA Moscow earlier in the week.

Pappas’ 24 points on the night was good enough to lead all scorers, while Nikos Calathes was
the only other Panathinaikos player to reach double-digits in points as the playmaker tallied 12 points and 6 assists.

Former Olympiacos man Jan Vesely led Fenerbahce scorers with 15 points, but it was a nother former Olympiacos player who could have won the game for the Turkish side but Kostas Sloukas’ effort at the buzzer bounced off as the OAKA crowd erupted in celebration.

The visitors held a narrow lead after the first quarter as Panathinaikos looked to perplex former coach Zeljko Obradovic and his new team. Obradovic and Fenerbahce would continue to hold the upper hand in the second quarter as the Turks opened up an eight point lead by halftime.

The second half would see Panathinaikos start to take control of the game. After reducing the Fenerbahce to just two points after the third quarter, Panathinaikos crept into the lead in the final frame.

For as much as Panathinaikos surged ahead, Fenerbahce had a response. The EuroLeague Champions couldn’t stop Pappas, however, as the Greek guard first drove to the basket in the dying moments to score plus earn a trip to the foul line to put Panathinaikos in front at 67-66.

Fenerbahce responded at the other end with a basket of their own to take the lead at 68-67, only for Pappas to answer back for Panathinaikos. With the clock ticking, Pappas shot from distance to give a  Panathinaikos their final lead of the night – one that wouldn’t be surrendered despite best efforts from the visitors.

Panathinaikos are now 2-2 on the season and will look to add to Friday’s win when the Athenians travel to Spain to face Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz. Fenerbahce, meanwhile, are also 2-2 as the Champions’ defense hasn’t gone smoothly thus far and the Turkish side will be in
tough against a 3-1 Valencia side next week.


by Peter Katsiris
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