Panathinaikos went down 75-68 at Maccabi Tel Aviv on Thursday to suffer its third win in five Euroleague group games and increase the pressure on its coach, Argyris Pedoulakis.
The Greens played a disastrous first period in which they scored no more than 12 points. From then on they played catch-up with an experienced Maccabi side that strangled the Greek attack at times and capitalized on the huge support of its fans at the Nokia Arena.
The result goes as far as raising concerns about the qualification of Panathinaikos to the top-16 and about whether the old guard of the team, i.e. Dimitris Diamantidis, Antonis Fotsis and Mike Batiste, can match their performances of the past.
Maccabi had the upper hand throughout the game, enjoying a superb first period after which it led 25-12, to end the first half at leading 36-29.
The hosts stretched their advantage to 14 points (45-31) before the Greens started eating into their deficit, for a 56-47 score at the end of the third period. They went to within six points (60-54) but could not really threaten Maccabi’s dominance on the night.
An improved Stephane Lasme was the top scorer for Panathinaikos with 13 points as well as collecting seven rebounds, while captain Diamantidis had just one out of 11 field goals.
On Friday Olympiakos hosts Zielona Gora in Piraeus.
In the Eurocup Greek teams scored on win and one loss on Wednesday, as Panionios downed Finland’s Bisons Loimaa 74-62 while PAOK suffered an 87-53 defeat at Nizhny Novgorod in Russia.