European champion Panathinaikos is on the verge of missing out on this season's Euroleague title as the Greens lost 65-62 to Maccabi at Tel Aviv on Tuesday and are trailing 2-1 in the best-of-five quarterfinal series.
With Game 4 scheduled for Thursday, also in Israel, Panathinaikos will need to make a considerable improvement on Tuesday?s mediocre performance at the Nokia Arena, during which the hosts led by as many as 13 points at halftime (41-28).
Fortified by their noisy fans, the hosts scored 24 points in the first period against Panathinaikos's 13 as the Greens committed one turnover after another, totaling 10 in the first half.
After the interval, though, Panathinaikos raised its game and boosted by Dimitris Diamantidis, Mike Batiste and Costas Kaimakoglou, it came to within one point of Maccabi (63-62).
It all came down to the last shot that Nick Calathes took from outside the three-point line in the dying seconds but which failed to make the target, allowing Maccabi to hold on to a precious win.
Batiste was Panathinaikos's top scorer with 13 points, followed by Ian Vougioukas, who notched up 11 points.