SPORTS

Simon buzzer-beater sinks Panathinaikos on Crete

Panathinaikos suffered a shock loss to Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar on Crete with a 72-69 score on Thursday, as despite its successful effort to come back from 13 points down it was unable to stop the Russians from scoring a buzzer-beating three-pointer in the last second of the match.

Playing at Iraklio, the Greens served their second and final Euroleague game of their home court suspension and enjoyed an impressive support by the Cretan public.

Lokomotiv had read Panathinaikos’s game well and made the most of the frustrated attacks of the hosts who had players such as Mike Bramos and Stephane Lasme underperform on the night.

The problems Panathinaikos had in attack saw the Greens score no more than just 41 points in the first three periods. Kuban led by up to 13 points (56-43) early in the fourth period, but a 12-1 partial score brought the Greeks within striking distance (57-55).

Two minutes later they even led for their only time in the second half (66-65), and thought they had taken the game to overtime when Dimitris Diamantidis equalized with a trademark three-pointer at 69-69 six seconds from the end.

Yet Krunoslav Simon, who up to that moment had made no three-pointers in five attempts, took the buzzer-beating shot for Kuban and scored to give the Russians an unlikely win in Greece.

James Gist scored a Euroleague career best 18 points, but they were not enough to spare Panathinaikos its first home defeat this season. The Greens now have two wins in four games.

Greek teams had mixed fortunes in the EuroCup on Wednesday as PAOK defeated Khimik 77-69 at home while Panionios lost 71-57 at Besiktas.