Photo: EuroLeague Basketball

Real Madrid overpowered Panathinaikos in Athens (82-89) and swept the series (3-0), becoming the first team to qualify for the 2019 Final Four.

The “Whites” made a better start (25-34), but the “Greens” went on a 16-2 run to close the first half in front by five (41-36).

The six-time EuroLeague champions remained competitive for the majority of the second half (58-58, 68-70), but three pointers by Jeffery Taylor, Facundo Campazzo and Anthony Randolph, along with some big shots from Gustavo Ayon, helped the Spaniards seal the deal and reach the 10th Final Four since the format was adopted in 1988.

Five players scored in double figures for the winners, with Campazzo (10 assists) and Rudy Fernandez leading the way with 16 points apiece.

Nick Calathes (17 points) and Matt Lojeski (16 points, 5/7 shooting) were the best players of the losing squad, which lost its eight straight game to the “Whites”.

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*Yiannis Bouranis is an affiliate partner of ESPN and is being compensated for the use of ESPN+ affiliate links. The opinions expressed in his posts are his own.