Panathinaikos make it to the final (pics+vid)

Panathinaikos is the first final of 2011 Final Four with a rather easy win over Italian champions Montepaschi Siena, 77-69, in a game where Nick Calathes shone.

 

Siena was the best team in the beginning of the game and taking advantage of the numerous Panathinaikos turnovers and dominating the offensive board got in the lead, 7-11. Lavrinovic was the best player in the court and Siena continued growing their lead, 10-15. In one of the most daft moments of the season Batiste grabbed the rim at the exact moment the ball was going in after a behind the arc shot by Diamantidis and not only the basket was cancelled by the refs but Zisis scored a great buzzer beater for the final score of first quarter, 17-21.{jathumbnail off}

Grabbing their 10th offensive rebound after 12 minutes Siena kept controlling the airspace and got their biggest lead of the game, 17-24. Panathinaikos toughened up their defence and as a result Siena made some easy turnovers, something which allowed the Greek champion to cut the lead to the minimum, 29-30, before taking the lead after seventeen minutes, thanks to a threepointer by Fotsis, 32-30. Game didn’t change much until half time, with The Greens going to the locker rooms with a 40-36 lead.

The beginning of the second half was very mediocre, to say the lest, as both teams scored just two points a piece after five minutes, 42-38.  Siena was shooting 1/12 from the 6.75 line and Panathinaikos took advantage to grow their lead to double digits, 49-38, with just three minutes to go until the end of third quarter. After 52-40 Siena managed to, somewhat, pull back cutting the lead down to seven, 54-47 but Panathinaikos finished the third quarter with a nine points lead, 56-47.

Despite the foul trouble of their frontline Siena refused to give up and kept fighting, but on the other hand Panathinaikos never lost control and constantly help a 6-10 points lead. The final score of the game was 77-69 and Panathinaikos, taking advantage of their experience and coaching staff, became the first finalist of the 2011 Barcleona Final Four.

Nick Calathes was voted MVP of the game after scoring a Euroleague high of 17 points, adding 6 rebounds.

Panathinaikos: Tepic DNP, Maric DNP, Perperoglou 5, Batiste 16 (7 rbs), Fotsis 14, Sato 6, Nicholas 3, Tsartsaris 2, Diamantidis 8 (9 ass), Vouyoukas 6, Calathes 17, Kaimakoglou DNP

Montepaschi Siena: McCalebb 7, Zisis 4, Rakovic 10, Hairtson 12, Carraretto 2, Lavrinovic 7, Kaukenas 13, Ress, Akindele 4, Jaric, Stonerook 4 (14 rbs), Moss 6

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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