By George Georgakopoulos
Panathinaikos scored its second win in the top 16 of the Euroleague on Thursday beating Unicaja Malaga 78-73 at home, but has lost captain Dimitris Diamantidis due to injury just as he had returned to fitness.
The Greens grabbed this precious win courtesy of a late rally of three-pointers that saw them break away from their Spanish visitors with a 73-64 score, a lead that proved unassailable despite the efforts by Malaga for a comeback.
However, Panathinaikos will be waiting for news about the ankle injury to Diamantidis, who is likely to miss the action of the next couple of weeks at least. In his despair for his new injury, the experienced guard tore up his shirt.
There was no such agony for his teammate James Gist, though. The former Malaga player, whom the Spanish team’s coach rejected and had him sold to Panathinaikos last month, scored two precious three-pointers and a total of 17 points to become the game’s top scorer for the Greeks. His knowing look at the Malaga bench after scoring from outside the 6.75-meter line told its own story.
“Indeed I was motivated for personal reasons, but I am also happy for our victory,” Gist said after the match at the Olympic Sports Hall.
Jonas Maciulis also had a solid game for the hosts with 14 points and six rebounds.