SPORTS

Crucial win for Panathinaikos at Alba

Panathinaikos grabbed that elusive away win in this second group stage of the Euroleague downing Alba at Berlin 65-59 on Friday, to boost its chances of advancing to the knockout stages.

The Greek champion overcame a poor first half, during which it scored fewer points than in the next 10 minutes, and emerged victorious from a tricky game in Germany.

The Greens entered the encounter with a particularly poor performance in attack, with just 22 points scored in the first half after which they trailed by seven points (29-22) to an Alba that has beaten mighty Barcelona in Berlin this season.

Alba stretched its lead to 11 points (41-30) before Panathinaikos began its fightback to equalize 45-45 at the end of the third quarter, thanks to a solid showing in defense by James Gist and in attack by forward Loukas Mavrokefalidis, scorer of seven points in that quarter.

The Greens edged ahead from the start of the last period with eight consecutive points in total to advance 51-45.

A three-point crescendo by Antonis Fotsis took the distance to 11 points for the Greeks (61-50) before ending the game with a six-point margin in front of a few dozen delirious Panathinaikos fans.

Mavrokefalidis was the Greens’ top scorer with 11 points, with Dimitris Diamantidis and Vladimir Jankovits adding 10 points each.