Alba Berlin was never going to trouble Panathinaikos in Athens, as the Greens triumphed by 24 points (82-58) at the Olympic Sports Hall for the Euroleague on Friday.
However Unicaja Malaga’s 77-74 win at group leader Real Madrid means Panathinaikos will need to match or better Malaga’s results in the three remaining games, or face early elimination from the competition.
Playing in front of little more than 4,500 fans, Panathinaikos was dominant from start to finish (50-28 at half-time) stretching its lead to as many as 30 points (67-37) and having 11 of its players on the scoresheet.
This was a good night for Jonas Maciulis (16 points and six rebounds) and Stephane Lasme (14 points), while Sofoklis Schortsanitis was unstoppable under the basket (10 points in total, with four out of four two-pointers) shaking off his recent injury.
It was the seventh win in 11 games for Panathinaikos in this group stage that looks like going down to the wire as far as the Greens’ qualification in concerned.
Up next Panathinaikos has to visit Real Madrid while Malaga hosts CSKA Moscow. Then the Greeks travel to Bamberg before hosting CSKA in Athens, while Malaga travels to Anadolu Efes and entertains Alba.