SPORTS

Greens risk going out after home loss to Alba

Panathinaikos was upset at home by Alba Berlin with a 68-66 score on Thursday and will need victory at eliminated Red Star Belgrade next week to make sure it qualifies to the play-offs of the Euroleague. Otherwise it will hope that Maccabi beats Alba in Berlin.

The Greens remain fourth in the eight-team pool by virtue of their better head-to-head record with Alba, as they had beaten the Germans by six points in Germany.

Panathinaikos led for most of the game, but a disastrous fourth period, with an offensive blackout at the start and poor choices in the last few minutes, deprived the Greek champion of the victory that would have ensured it a ticket to the quarterfinals.

The Greens advanced by seven (40-33) at half time and by nine after the third quarter (55-46), but quickly surrendered that lead in the fourth period as Alba scored one three-pointer after another.

At times it seemed Dimitris Diamantidis was battling alone for the hosts. He finished the game with 18 points.

Red Star Belgrade has never been a friendly place for Panathinaikos to visit, but the Greek champion now needs victory there to ensure it makes the cut without having to wait for the Alba vs Maccabi result. A Maccabi victory will mean that Panathinaikos finishes fourth regardless of the result in Belgrade, while in case Panathinaikos wins in Serbia and Alba beats Maccabi by no more than 18 points, the Greens will actually finish third in their group.