Greek basketball power Panathinaikos came close but lost to Spanish giant Barcelona, 80-76 on Jan. 9, taking its first loss in the final round of 16 in the Euroleague.
Adding to the woes, the Greens found out its 77-76 win over fellow power and archrival Olympiakos in the quarter-finals was overturned after a sports judge invalidated it because banned former Panathinaikos President Dimitris Giannakopoulos was sitting courtside in defiance.
The Greens will appeal to the Supreme sports Court (ASEAD), but it looks likely it will be Olympiakos to face PAOK in the Thessaloniki semifinal next month and Panathinaikos is out on the technicality.
In Spain, Panathinaikos got off to a good start and led by 35-25 before the Spanish team went on a run to tie it at the half, 37-37.
A barrage of three-pointers from Marcelinho Huertas, who hit five in a row and 6-of-8 in the game, gave his team a 54-44 lead before the Greek team started clawing back.
(making five straight shots for a total of 6/8 in the game) allowed the Catalans to advance by 10 (54-44), before Panathinaikos began eating into its deficit and closing to 77-76 a minute from the end but it fell short.