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Euroleague: Greens stun Barca in QF Game 2

Euroleague

Two games, three points… That’s the difference between Panathinaikos and Barcelona Regal in their two Euroleague quarterfinal games. In Game 2 of their best-of-five series, the Greens fought off a 21:11 second quarter to give themselves the opportunity to come from behind in the final 10 to capture Game 2, 65:66, and even the series at 1 game each.

The first quarter started slow, with neither team getting in any kind of scoring routine. Barcelona had put up their 11 points by the five-minute mark and went scoreless for the rest of the first frame. The Greens didn’t do much better, but were able to build a six-point margin over the last five minutes and end the first 10 up 11:16.

Barca took control in the second quarter, after Panathinaikos’ James Gist hit a triple to open scoring in the frame, the hosts ran off six unanswered to draw to within two, 17:19. They traded baskets until Regal took the lead at 26:25. Floor leader Juan Carlos Navarro dropped in the final four points of the half for Barcelona, to give the home club a five-point advantage at the half, 32:27.

As the second half started, Barca ran off eight straight to extend their lead to 13, 40:27. The Greens countered with seven of there own to cut the gap to six, 40:34. Shortly after, they dropped in another eight unanswered to knot the score at 45. Regal’s Alejandro Abrines knocked down a triple, then stole the in-bounds pass and was fouled. After connecting on the pair of singles, the hosts held a five-point margin again. Panathinaikos’ Stephane Lasme closed out scoring in the third with a three-point play after getting fouled on a lay-up. Heading into the final 10 the Greens trailed two, 50:48.

The hosts got the first four points of the final frame, extending their lead to six, 54:48. The guests countered with a Gist layup and a Michael Bramos triple, pulling the Greens back to within one. Four minutes into the final quarter, Panathinaikos got their first lead of the second half with a Dimitris Diamantidis triple putting them up 58:60. Erazem Lorbek connected on a pair of singles to tie things up at 60, then Navarro hit consecutive jumpers to put Regal up by four, 64:60. Bramos knocked down a triple to pull back to being down one. Navarro was fouled by Bramos, but could only split the singles. With 8.4 seconds left, Diamantidis hit the cords with a triple to put the Greens up one, 65:66. Navarro had a shot blocked by Lasme, but he went out of bounds with the ball, giving Barca another shot with 1.7 to play. Sarunas Jasikevicus put up a triple for the win, but got the back of the rim, giving Panathiniakos the game and a 1-1 series score.

Games 3 and 4 will now move to Athens, with Game 3 scheduled for April 16.

Gist paced the Greens with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Bramos finished with 13 points and Diamantidis contributed 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.

Navarro was game-high for Regal with 20, and Abrines added 10.

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