Panathinaikos rescued their Euroleague campaign escaping from Malaga, only to have their path crossed with that of Euroleague champions Barcelona, in the play-offs stage.

Zeljko Obradovic chose a rather unusual starting lineup consisting of Tepic, Sato, Kaimakoglou, Tsartsaris and Vouyoukas. The visiting team took an early lead 8-11, before the Spanish regained it, 12-11. Panathinaikos answered with a 8-0 run for 12-19 and the first quarter ended with the score being 18-23.

With Nicholas making his presence felt (11 points in the second quarter) Panathinaikos pulled away, 20-28. The home team fought back and cut the lead down to three, 27-30 with the fist half ending with Euroleague 2009 champions in the lead, 33-38. With Calathes, Diamantidis and Sato back court in the second half Panathinaikos short-circuited Unicaja’s ball movement and with a 12-0 run made it 37-53. The score after thirty minutes was 41-53.

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With two back-to-back threepointers by Nicholas and Diamantidis Panatihnaikos skyrocketed the difference up to eighteen points, 41-59 and the game pretty much ended at that point. Unicaja made an ultimate effort for a comeback, 50-61, but The Greens re-established their authority with a quick 8-0 run, 50-59. Final score was 61-77.

Unicaja Malaga: Rodriguez, Printezis, Almazan 7, Tripkovic 5, Blakney 8, Sinanovic 12, Rubio 2, Freeland 12, McIntyre, Fitch 12, Blanco 3

Panathinaikos: Tepic, Perperoglou 6, Batiste 10, Fotsis 9, Sato 7, Nicholas 18, Tsartsaris 4, Diamantidis 15, Vougioukas 2, Calathes 3, Kaimakoglou 3

Full boxscore here