The basketball team of Panathinaikos succeeded in overpowering Barcelona with 71-75 and equalizing the difference between them to 1-1 ina second excellent performance within a few days.
Despite the disappointment that the greens did not win the first game and the fact that the hosts in Palau Blaugrana led by 38-28, Panathinaikos managed to catch up and take the lead after the first half.
After the first 20 minutes of the game the Catalans led with whole 16 points. Then the Greek champions "woke up" and turned the course of the game.
The counterattack of the "greens" was headed by Romain Sato who returned to his old good shape as a part of Siena, and the "usual suspect" Dimitris Diamantidis. The good and concentrated game of Sato and the 14 points scored by Diamantidis during the third part of the game decreased the gap to one point and they had the same lead at the beginning of the fourth part.
The course of the game got even better for the Greek team, as each player who went out on the field helped to increase the difference in points. Thus, four minutes before the end of the game, it reached up to 8 points in favour of the "greens".
Last year's European champions did not give up the fight easily. Two consecutive referee errors allowed the basketball team of Barcelona to shoot precisely and reduce the difference. The difference was again 1 after Navarro scored in the 23rd minute. Diamantidis stood on the foul shot line but scored only once.
During the last attack of Barcelona the ball fell into the hands of Lakovich. He won three points after scoring from the field, but Batiste’s counterattack and smash guaranteed the victory of Panathinaikos.
And while the "greens" were winning as guests, the host Olympiacos lost from Siena. The game ended with a score of 82-65 in favour of the Italians who hampered the team in its way from Piraeus to the Final Four of the basketball Euroleague.
The triumph at the first game made Olympiacos believe that the difference of 48 points is sufficient not only for the final victory over Siena, but also for ensuring the reds’ participation in the Final Four. But the Italians were determined to prove that their game during the first game was not representative of the team and the players of Olympiacos enthusiastic for the solemn atmosphere in the hall felt the ground slipping from under their feet.
During the first game Olympiacos played in excellent defence and Siena - in very bad attack. The mindset of the "red-and-white" during the game last night remained the same, but the Italians from Siena started the game with more persistence and greater peace of mind, knowing what they will face with.
The original plan was to break the defence of Olympiacos by Carraretto shooting from the midline. After the first five minutes the score was 6-6, and the "red-and-white" managed to keep their lead of 20-12 due to the points Spanoulis scored.
Kaukenas, however, responded the same way. The defender from Latvia prompted a "one against one" fight and managed to bring the game within the standards of his team. The defence organized by Simon Piandzhiani against the restless players of Olympiacos was successful for the Italians that won 14 consecutive points and doubled the difference to 24-12.
Olympiacos based its game on the attacks by Spanoulis, who scored 12 points and managed to narrow the difference to 39-31. In the third game, the "red-and-white" broke the defence of Siena and reduced the gap to 44-40 in the 23rd minute. But Carraretto and Zisis catched up rapidly and the Italians took the lead again with 9 points. At the beginning of the fourth game Mavrokefalidis and Nesterovich reduced it again to 61-54, but the three points by Stonerurk and the score by Kaukenas provided a strong lead for Siena. The game ended with a difference of 17 points.
The games will continue next week.