The packed OAKA hosted another intense match between Panathinaikos and Barça Regal. Despite the poor first half, the Blaugrana got to the end of the match with a good chance of winning it. Unfortunately he third match of the series didn’t go Barça Regal’s way, but the silver lining in the defeat is that the Catalans showed that they are capable of winning in Athens and they’ll have another chance on Thursday.
Xavi Pascual made a couple of changes to the starting line-up this Tuesday evening as he sent our Marcelinho, Navarro, Ingles, Wallace and Jawai. The Blaugrana captain, who scored two three pointers and received to fouls, led the team in the first quarter. The Greek side, however, were not going to be outdone at home and they took a five-point lead halfway through the quarter (13-8). Lorbek and Tomic were sent in but they were unable to stem the Greek attack as the quarter ended with 20 to 10 for Panathinaikos.
Pedoulakis’ men felt comfortable on the court in the second quarter, and little by little they opened up a dangerous 14-point lead (28-14). Pascual called a time out and his team reacted by cutting Panathinaikos’ lead to 9 point by the end of the half.
Like night and day
The second half saw a completely different Barça Regal on the court. The Catalans’ switched to a zone defence and Navarro and Jasikevicius were firing away ot the other end of the court, the tactic worked and Barça Regal claimed the lead (42-43). The two teams traded blows for the rest of the quarter, which saw both Catalans and Greeks set themselves up very nicely for the final 10 minutes of the game (50-51).
Two free throws from Lorbek put Barça Regal up by five with eight minutes to go. Panathinaikos went through a couple of minutes of doubt as each basket was worth its weight in gold and the Blaugrana were clearly running away with the game. However, with a little more than three minutes left on the clock, the Greek side battled back to take the lead (59-57). Barça Regal fired back with a three pointer from Wallace and another from Jasikevicius (59-63). Diamantidis hit a three pointer himself as the two teams went to the final minute with only a point separating them on the board (64-63). Tomic missed two free throws and neither Navarro nor Jasikevicius were able to find the net. Small details decided the match and Panathinaikos came out ahead.