SPORTS

Panathinaikos within reach of CSKA Moscow

Panathinaikos demolished host Zalgiris Kaunas for the Euroleague with a 94-59 score on December 7 to confirm its top-two finish in its group with two more games to go.

The European champion had not had such a solid performance before this season and is now within reach of leader CSKA Moscow, whom it visits next week. For Panathinaikos to finish to of the pool, it needs to beat CSKA by two points and hope the Russians lose at Malaga next.

At Kaunas Zalgiris led 16-15, but that was the end of their dream start, as they then slumped to a 41-19 half-time score.

The Greeks had all their guns blazing for their sixth win in eight group games. They ended the game with a two-point scoring rate of 67 percent (34/51).

Nick Calathes and Steven Smith scored 17 points each for Panathinaikos, while Mike Batiste added another 13 points.

On December 6 Aris edged closer to qualifying from its Eurocup group with a 79-58 home win over Gas Terra Flames Groningen, while PAOK suffered an 89-65 loss at Khimki in Russia.