A buzzer-beating three-pointer by Vladimir Jankovic gifted Panathinaikos the ticket to the final of the Greek Cup on Sunday as the Greens edged out host PAOK 71-68 at Thessaloniki in the second semifinal. Panathinaikos will face Apollon Patras in the final.
Error-prone PAOK could not translate home advantage into a lead in the match at the PAOK Sports Arena, and even trailed by 12 points toward the end (64-52), as the more experienced Panathinaikos made its quality tell.
However PAOK fought back to equalize 68-68 with four seconds left, as the Greens managed to let their lead slip. They redeemed themselves though with a masterful attack in the last four seconds, as Esteban Batista cleverly set Jankovic free and he scored from the 6.75-meter line.
Jankovic and James Gist scored 13 points each for Panathinaikos, while Kevin Langford notched up 18 for PAOK.
“This was a big victory, but we were lucky too,” admitted a relieved Dusko Ivanovic, the coach of Panathinaikos.