Panathinaikos suffered its first defeat in the second group stage of the Euroleague, going down 77-70 to Spanish champion Caja Laboral in Spain on February 3.
Playing without injured Aleks Maric and Costas Kaimakoglou, Panathinaikos played second fiddle to the host at Vitoria and not once did it manage to take the lead in the scoring after the first period.
Caja Laboral owes much to the in-form Fernando San Emeterio, who scored time and again, beating the Panathinaikos defense and finally notching up 21 points.
The Greek champion equalized 42-42 in the third period but that was as far as they could go on the night, as the host was not to be denied given the number of errors the Greens committed (18 against Caja Laboral’s 13).
Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic focused his criticism on the mistakes his players made during the last few minutes: «Once again we lost a game after committing too many errors in the last couple of minutes, although we did not have a good game in general. We did not meet the standard we have as a team, both in offense and in defense.»
The Greens will have a chance to return to the top of their pool if they defeat Caja Laboral at home by any score on February 17.
Both sides have two wins out of three games.