ATHENS – Greek basketball power Panathinaikos was upset at home by Alba Berlin, 68-66 on April 2, leaving the Greens on the verge of being pushed out of the Euroleague tourney.
Panathinaikos must beat the already-eliminated Red Star Belgrade next week or go home, unless the current champion Maccabi Tel Aviv beats Alba in Berlin.
The Greens remain fourth in the eight-team pool only because they beat the German team by six points and lost by two. In European tourney play, won-loss records are broken by the margin of victory differences not a third game.
Panathinaikos led for most of the game but fell apart in the last quarter of a game it seemed to have in hand although Alba Berlin is no pushover, having beaten the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs in an exhibition game.
The Greens led 40-33 at the half and upped it to 55-45 after three but were outscored in the finalk period by 23-11 as Alba Berlin connected from three-point land time and time again.
Captain Dimitris Diamantidis was the only spark for the home team, finishing as its leading scorer with 18 points and battling all the way.
A Maccabi victory will mean that Panathinaikos finishes fourth regardless of the result in Belgrade.
If Panathinaikos wins in Serbia and Alba beats Maccabi by no more than 18 points, the Greens could finish third in Euroleague play.