A disappointing Panathinaikos fell prey to an impressive CSKA Moscow than won Game 1 of their play-off series with a 93-66 score in Russia on Tuesday.
Braving the last-minute injury to guard AJ Slaughter, Panathinaikos held firm in the first quarter of the game, but CSKA ran riot after that, sending its lead close to 30 points at times, with the 35-25 score halfway through the second period turning into a 56-27 half-time score.
The margin reached 35 points at the end of the third quarter (77-42) with Panathinaikos coach Dusko Ivanovic sending in his green troops to fight a lost battle, in order to gain experience. The 24 points that the Greeks scored in the last period, to CSKA’s 16, bode rather well for the new generation of the team.
Yet that was just about the only positive thing the Greens could deduce from such a disastrous performance. “We must remember we are Panathinaikos,” said forward James Gist, scorer of 14 points on the night. He was only beaten at the team’s scorers chart by Nikos Pappas with 16.
Ivanovic put on a brave face saying “this was only Game 1.” The best-of-five series continues on Thursday, again in Moscow.