Panathinaikos lost 78-69 at unbeaten Barcelona on Friday for its second defeat in five Euroleague games, as its defensive effort went to waste due to its poor shooting outside the line.
For a team that lives and dies by its three-pointers, making two out of 20 shots could have only led to a loss against a superior host that had a hard time in the first 15 minutes against the Greeks.
It was quite telling that Panathinaikos contained the Barcelona fast-break game, forcing the host to set attacks up to halfway through the second quarter.
However the Catalans turned their slender 34-33 lead to a 47-38 advantage at half-time and preserved that for the rest of the game despite the Greeks’ efforts to cut the deficit.
With the score at 67-62 Panathinaikos kept insisting on three-pointers, which allowed Barcelona to restore its safety cushion (76-65) and win a game that Panathinaikos will not really regret losing come the end of this first group stage.
Esteban Batista was the only Panathinaikos player with double scoring figures, notching up 14 points on the night.