With Bojan Dubljevic becoming Valencia’s all time leading scorer and his team improving all aspects of their game after the first half, the Spanish club got a tough yet impressive home win over Panathinaikos, 95-83, on Thursday night (17/11).
Klemen Prepelic was the top scorer for the hosts with 18 points while Derrick Williams added 14. For Panathinaikos newcomer Shelvin Mack was for another game the top scorer with 15 points, while Papapetrou, Mitoglou and Sant-Roos had 11 points each.
With Panathinaikos’ defense in imbalance, both teams started the first quarter going head-to-head (7-8). After a three point shot from Aaron White in Panathinaikos’ first possession, the Greeks had this single point lead for around 4 minutes. Valencia with Labeyrie managed to get the lead in the match (14-12) with Panathinaikos tying it with Marcus Foster. Ioannis Papapetrou with a two point shot, gave the lead back to his team (14-16) with 5 minutes, until the end of the first quarter, remaining. With both teams trying to find their balance in both offense and defense, Valencia ended the first quarter with a single point lead (22-21).
A couple of turnovers from Panathinaikos in the first minutes of the second quarter, didn’t let the Greeks retain their lead. Valencia grabbed the opportunity that was given and extended their lead to five points (26-21) with a two pointer from Mike Tobey. Panathinaikos covered the difference, tied the game (28-28) and got back in leading position with Aaron White (28-30). The lead was exchanging sides with both teams unable to build and secure the lead. After a great steal from Derrick Williams, the American guard was unable to make the windmill dunk and his team to grab two easy points in the fast break. Panathinaikos was the one who got benefited from that with a two point shot from Dinos Mitoglou (33-34) and three minutes until the end of the first half, remaining. Klemen Prepelic shot a big three pointer on the buzzer for Valencia, to end the first half leading by 4, (45-41).
The third quarter started with Panathinaikos fighting back and covering that short lead that Valencia had built (45-45). George Papagiannis was efficient for another night and helped Panathinaikos return on the game. Prepelic on the other hand, was the one who ensured that Valencia had the lead and with a three pointer brought Valencia back to the leader’s position (50-49). Bochoridis replied for Panathinaikos with his own three pointer (50-52), with Vives and Valencia replying (53-52). The Spanish club managed to extend their lead with Bojan Dubljevic (60-54), forcing coach Vovoras to a time-out. Shelvin Mack replied after the time out with a three pointer keeping Panathinaikos close to the score and not letting Valencia extend it even more. A big three from Nemanja Nedovic, who also got the foul, brought the difference down to a two-point lead for Valencia. A smart play from Hermannsson ended the third quarter with Valencia leading by four, 70-66.
In the fourth and final quarter, Panathinaikos started with an impressive three point shot from Ben Bentil but Valencia always had an answer to all the challenges Panathinaikos was bringing on their game. Hermannsson was the one who helped Valencia secured their lead (77-70) with Derrick Williams extending it (79-70) to give Valencia a nine point lead. Some turnovers from the Greek side didn’t let them return on the game and so Valencia secured a 95-83 win.