Panathinaikos has a mountain to climb in order to reach the Final Four of the Euroleague after losing at CSKA Moscow on Friday for a second time in two days, only this time it was comprehensively defeated with a 77-51 score.
Two days after wasting a great chance to win in Russia and break CSKA’s home advantage when it lost in overtime, Panathinaikos was in the game for no more than the first period.
With 18 out of 58 field goals, the Greek champion had virtually no chance to beat the Russian giant in Moscow, in a game that could not have been any more different to that of Wednesday.
The front line of Panathinaikos was wiped out on Friday by the physically gifted Russians, and only Loukas Mavrokefalidis with eight points did inflict some damage from close range on the CSKA defense.
The Greens led for most of the first quarter that ended with the Russians edging ahead right at the end with a 21-19 score.
However, in the second period Panathinaikos suffered a blackout in attack and the hosts enjoyed an 18-6 partial score to lead 39-25.
As usual the players of coach Frangiskos Alvertis tightened up their defense in the third quarter, that appeared to be the only chance they had to change the flow of the game in their favor.
They reduced their deficit to 10 points (50-40) at the start of the last quarter, but quickly surrendered to the superior hosts, who took the margin of their win to particularly high levels in the last few minutes Panathinaikos had clearly given up trying.
Roko Ukic was the only Panathinaikos player with a double-digit scoring, notching up 15 points.
Game 3 of the best-of-five series is to take place at the Olympic Sports Hall in Athens on Monday.