Panathinaikos suffered its fourth loss in five away games this season in the Euroleague going down 66-64 at Armani Milano on Thursday to confirm it will finish third in its group of six teams.
Armani needed victory more than Panathinaikos did and managed to grab it in the end after a close game that saw the lead change hands between the two teams several times during the match, played at Paladesio, Cantu’s home court.
After a Milano 18-11 lead in the first period, Panathinaikos reduced the deficit (32-28 at half-time) and led at the start of the third quarter (33-32).
Despite its good shooting rate, Panathinaikos was unable to build a lead as its numerous turnovers (21 against Armani’s nine) meant it could not translate its supremacy into more points.
Armani overturned a Panathinaikos’s 56-55 advantage to advance by six (62-56 and 65-59), and Dimitris Diamantidis had a shot blocked and two free throws missed in the last few seconds, allowing Armani to walk away with victory.
AJ Slaughter was the top scorer for Panathinaikos with 17 points, while centers Estreban Batista and Loukas Mavrokefalidis showed they have not yet recovered fully from their recent injuries.
In the Eurocup on Wednesday PAOK sealed qualification to the last 32 of the competition with a 76-62 home win over Latvia’s Ventspils.