Panathinaikos had a pretty easy night at home, getting a much needed win against Valencia 91-72, right before the Greek derby against Olympiacos next week. The “greens” saw their captain, Ioannis Papapetrou, and Giorgos Papagiannis return after being out for several games, helping the club record their 500th Euroleague match with a win. Valencia never managed to follow Panathinaikos’ pace, despite Prepelic’ amazing performance.
Panathinaikos had four players in double figures with Nemanja Nedovic being the top scorer with 16, while Lefteris Bochoridis and Aaron White added 12 each. Klemen Prepelic was the leading scorer for Valencia with 20 points, while Martin Hermannsson added 13.
Papagiannis’ return makes everything a lot easier
Panathinaikos started this first quarter of the match with an early 4-0 lead, bringing some energy on the court and running on the fast break. Valencia managed to tie things up but they were still unable to fully follow the rhythm Panathinaikos was putting. Papagiannis’ return was obvious for Panathinaikos with the player dominating the area under the basket. Valencia were doing great from the perimeter with Marinkovic but their defense was not strong enough to stop Panathinaikos’ offense. Panathinaikos got their first 8-point lead of the match (20-12), with Hermannsson taking it personally and bringing Valencia back on the game (20-17). The Greeks survived Valencia’s comeback and the finished the first quarter with a very short, 2-point lead (22-20).
They controlled the rhythm of the match
In the second quarter, Valencia started playing better both offensively and defensively but Panathinaikos was still better. The greens extended their lead to 12 points and they seemed unstoppable on the offensive end (42-30). Panathinaikos improved their percentage from outside the perimeter, played tough defense on the other end and put the ball inside the paint when needed. After 20 minutes of play, Valencia were still unable to follow Panathinaikos’ pace, despite some great individual, offensive plays and headed to the locker rooms trailing by 14 points (48-34).
They attempted a comeback but…
Coming back from the locker rooms, Valencia had to find a way to return on the game and become more competitive. The guests strengthened their defense against Panathinaikos and found some big, tough buckets from Klemen Prepelic, taking the lead down to 12 points (57-45). Bentil was doing the hard work for Panathinaikos and despite Valencia taking the lead down to 11 points, Bentil helped Panathinaikos keep retain a safe double-digit lead (66-50). Panathinaikos’ defense was forcing Valencia to several off-balanced shots while their connection with the opponent basket was a lot easier. The hosts kept control of the match to end the third quarter leading by 16 points (68-52).
Τhey couldn’t do anything more that that
Marinkovic with his third triple of the match, opened the fourth and final quarter for Valencia, in their last attempt to return on the game. Panathinaikos wasn’t affected by that, they got their largest lead of the match (80-60) and nothing could ruin this performance for the hosts. Valencia didn’t manage to control the difference and not let Panathinaikos extend it, and so the hosts secured an easy 19-point lead win at home (91-72).