Three minutes into the final period in the game played in the Sporting Hall in Athens, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv held a 80-53 lead over Panathinaikos. The final score was “only” 91-84 but this will be remembered as another great road wins in the history of the club.
It sratred with an amazing first quarter with Maccabi leading 33-13 due to some great defense, domination in the rebound and the three point shooting of Sarunas Jasikevicius (3-4 in ten minutes).
Coach Obradovic moved his team to zone defense. Maccabi players had many turn overs , Pana ran 27-13 and at the half only 6 pts lead for Maccabi (46-40).
In the third its was once again Maccabi at its best with a match-up zone defense and great inside play by Vujcic & Thomas plus the improvement in Parker’s play (2 points in the first half). Br>Maccabi ran 24-13 ans started the final period 70-53. Another 10-0 run put Maccabi 27 points up. The final 7 minutes were garbage time and the Greeks reduced the margin to only 7 points. Nut this time no body cared.
A first win for coach Pini Gershon in Greece and the first time he beat Obradovic twice in the same season. This win almost assured Maccabi one of the top two places in Group B.
Maccabi had an advantage in almost all categories: 61% FG to 46, 86% in FT to 69, 38-18 in rebounds, 6-2 in blocjed shots. Only in turn overs the home tean was superior: 21 for Maccabi to 8 for Pana.
Saras replied all his critics with an incredible display of 30 pts (7-10 for three) & 4 assists. Vujcic scored 18 pts, pulled down 13 rbds, dished 5 assists & had 2 blocked shots.