Banks leads Panathinaikos to win over Olimpija

By George Georgakopoulos

Panathinaikos did not impress with its performance but played as well as it had to in order to down visiting Olimpija Ljubljana 80-72 on Thursday on a night when both Greek teams advanced mathematically to the next round of the Euroleague, after Cedevita Zagreb lost to Efes 81-73 in Olympiakos's group.

The Greens of Athens missed Sofoklis Schortsanitis once again, but had Marcus Banks scoring just when the rest of the team seemed out of focus and almost let slip a 12-point lead in the last period. Olimpija took the deficit down to four points (74-70) with a minute and a half left in the game, but that was all it could do.

The hosts led by six after the first period (17-11) and by just two at half-time (35-33), but a solid third-period performance saw them go ahead by 13 at the start of the fourth one (62-49), thanks to an impressive two-point scoring rate of 70.4 percent.

Banks and Roko Ukic notched up 14 points each, with Stephane Lasme adding another 13. Mike Bramos had another good shooting night making three out of six three-pointers.

The result has seen Panathinaikos march on to the top-16 of the Euroleague with its fifth win in eight group games.