With Panathinaikos missing their captain, Ioannis Papapetrou due to injury, but with Nemanja Nedovic on a great night for once more, the hosts returned to winning ways getting the win against ASVEL Villeurbanne, 88-71, on Wednesday night (13/1). With the two teams going head-to-head for three quarters, Panathinaikos only needed 10 minutes to extend their lead and get a much needed win at home.
The Serbian guard, Nemanja Nedovic was the leading scorer for the hosts with 33 points, 18 of which came in the first half. Giorgos Papagiannis had another productive night with 18 points. Norris Cole was the top scorer for ASVEL Villeurbanne with 15 points while David Lighty added another 13.
Trailed early but Nedovic made the difference
ASVEL started the quarter with great offensive choices while playing strong defense on the other end of the court. Panathinaikos on the other hand, with Nedovic as their main scoring source, took their first lead of the match with Papagiannis after great team work and great communication with the guards (18-17). Panathinaikos scored an 18-2 run to end the first quarter leading by 4 points (25-21).
Great offensive choices for Panathinaikos with Cole leading ASVEL
The “greens” strengthened their defense in the second quarter and fought for every single rebound, every single possession (32-26). ASVEL came back within two points after some great decisions in offense with Norris Cole (32-30). Nedovic didn’t do much scoring for Panathinaikos in the second quarter, but his contribution was still very important passing the ball to his teammates and creating opportunities. With Panathinaikos taking advantage all the mistakes ASVEL was making in defense, Papagiannis and Mitoglou were the players that put on a dunk show (42-40). ASVEL was always close to the score, not letting the hosts get confident and extend their lead. Nedovic was pretty quite in the second quarter but hit the triple to send the two teams to the locker rooms with his team leading by 3 (45-42).
Panathinaikos’ defense gives the 10 -point lead
With Nedovic starting the quarter right from where he left it, both teams made some wrong choices on offense. Panathinaikos’ defense on the other hand was what gave them a 7-point lead (55-48) and the confidence that they could win the game. Cole was the one who was trying to keep ASVEL alive, showing his shooting range and doing pretty much everything for his team to stay close to the score. Great contribution from Papagiannis, who was there right when Panathinaikos’ needed it on both ends of the court (64-55). The Norris Cole – Nemanja Nedovic battle found the second, leading the hosts to a safe 10-point lead (70-60).
They tried, but not enough
ASVEL started the fourth quarter ready for a comeback, scoring 4 consecutive points and showing some aggression on defense. But not for long with Panathinaikos getting their first double digit lead (76-65), to extend it even more with Dinos Mitoglou (78-65). With Papagiannis dominating the rebounds and giving offensive solutions, the “greens” extended their lead to 18 points with ASVEL unable to react. Panathinaikos was doing everything right for the 2:25 minutes remaining and got a much needed win at home, 88-71.