Glory night for Greens, gloomy for Reds

Panathinaikos defeated European champion Barcelona on March 31 for the third time in a week to reach its 10th Euroleague Final-Four, while Olympiakos was eliminated after going down at Siena.

The Greek champion outplayed Barcelona, the host of the Final-Four in May, and won 78-67 in front of a capacity crowd of 20,000 fans at the Olympic Indoor Arena to win the best-of-five quarterfinal series 3-1.

Nick Calathes became the hero for Panathinaikos as the responsibility of guiding the team fell on his shoulders due to the early foul problem that emerged for skipper Dimitris Diamantidis, and led the Greens to victory with his excellent defensive and offensive work.

Ian Vougioukas and Stratos Perperoglou were also unlikely stars in the host?s effort that completed the upset of the Catalans, originally seen as the favorites for the trophy.

Panathinaikos will now face Montepaschi Siena in the semifinal on May 6, as the Italian champion saw off Olympiakos again, this time with an 88-76 score that ended the series at 3-1.

Siena had the upper hand from the start of this Game 4 of the series in a hot atmosphere as the Olympiakos defense could not contain its host?s attacks, conceding as many as 50 points in the first half.

The Reds seemed unable to stage a full comeback, despite the decent efforts by Jamon Gordon, and even when they cut their deficit to five points, late in the match, the Italian side proved it was not to be denied one more Final-Four ticket.

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