Panathinaikos’ hoopsters caught a break, advancing in the Euroleague tournament despite losing 69-68 against the Serbian team Red Star in Belgrade.
The Greens will play on because the European champion Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Panathinaikos’s main rival, Alba Berlin, to get into the quarterfinals.
Panathinaikos will now face CSKA in Moscow on April 14 in a best-of-five series to get into the final four. It’s a rematch of last-year’s match-up won by the Russian team, 3-2.
Panathinaikos had an awful start in Belgrade, hitting only 2-of-18 shots from the field to trail 16-7 in the first period before cutting it to 30-26 at the half.
By that time, the team had heard of Alba Berlin’s loss and the result didn’t matter, but they hung in to keep it close. The Serbian national champion went all out to please its fans although it continues to have a poor record in Euroleague play.
James Gist and AJ Slaughter didn’t score in a terrible performance for both. Esteban Batista was the leading scorer for Panathinaikos with 15 points.