By George Georgakopoulos
Stephane Lasme and Dimitris Diamantidis led Panathinaikos to a glorious victory at Laboral Kutxa on Friday as Panathinaikos won 72-64 to score its second win in as many games for the second group stage of the Euroleague.
In what was the third time the two teams have met this season, Panathinaikos avenged its first-round loss at Vitoria to win at the same court with an imposing performance during most of the game.
The momentum that the Greens have gained since beating Olympiakos for the Cup three weeks ago appears to be ever-growing.
The Greek champion applied its usual tactics of focusing on attack in the first half and then tightening up its defense in the second, as it led 24-17 after the first quarter and 34-32 at half-time.
Laboral Kutxa grabbed the lead in the third period to advance by six points (49-43), and by four points at the end of the third period thanks to a crazy shot from the middle of the court by David Jelinek (52-48).
However a spirited comeback by the Greens resulted in a partial 19-6 score to see them led by up to nine points (65-56), with the hosts simply being unable to match Panathinaikos in the last quarter.
Lasme was unstoppable in attack making eight out of nine two-pointers for a total of 20 points in 19 minutes, while Diamantidis scored 12 points and distributed nine assists. There is no doubt that when Diamantidis is in good form Panathinaikos is extremely hard to beat.
These two were aided on the night by Ramel Curry and James Gist who notched up 10 points each.