Panathinaikos scored its first Euroleague win under coach Argyris Pedoulakis on Thursday, beating visiting Cantu 78-76 in Athens in a very tight game.
The Greens have Sofoklis Schortsanitis to thank for his 19 points that made the difference for them, as it became clear that when the Greece forward got tired Panathinaikos’s performance dipped.
Playing in front of some 5,000 fans the two teams had little to separate them for the whole of the game, with Panathinaikos leading by just one point at half-time (44-43) making 10 out of 11 two-pointers in the first 20 minutes.
Cantu was determined for an upset, improved its defense and led 63-61 with a few minutes left. It was then that the successful guidance of Pedoulakis saw the Greens recover to lead 76-68.
The barren spell that followed did not cost the Greeks, who won by just two points in the end, but have plenty of work to do ahead of the derby with Olympiakos for the league on Monday.