A very serious Baskonia beats Panathinaikos
Those of Dusko Ivanovic, led by Granger and Fontecchio, achieved their first victory in the competition after recovering their scoring ability and a solvent defense (81-79)
Baskonia already know what it’s like to win in this Euroleague. He did it in the third, through a very serious game against a very serious opponent, who did not make it easy for him, especially in the second half, when after coming back eleven points behind, after a run of 8-21, got on. Panathinaikos arrived in Vitoria after their first victory on the Fenerbahce court, and lost, but they could win the same. Granger’s defense on the last play, after a great game, prevented it.
He started Baskonia better than in the previous two games, with more confidence in his shooters than in previous appointments that had finished with very poor percentages. In the first quarter he was ahead on the scoreboard, and seemed to dominate the game with some sufficiency, but suffered a momentary blackout and lost his footing in the final minutes, until the quarter ended (15-17). However, the sensations were better than in previous games. The shot was working. Giedraitis or Fontecchio did not shake hands and the defense was also firm. Despite the score against, things were not bad at all.
The second quarter started with a very plugged Enoch. The Connecticut center, scored a couple of consecutive baskets and swept the rebounds to put Baskonia above, although the Cuban Sant-Roos broke the streak and put the Greeks ahead again, who played at the rhythm of Macon and Perry, unleashed at times. Giedraitis, however, put things in place with a triple and the subsequent steal of the ball, with 12 seconds remaining until the break. He put the finishing touch on Sedekerskis with a limit triple, which sent Ivanovic’s men into the locker room five points clear.
It seemed that the trend continued with the start of the second half, after three consecutive triples that raised the difference to eleven points, but the time-out requested by Priftis served to wake up the team from him. In such a way that they scraped the difference to minimize it and get back in front. The people from Vitoria had to row again. Marinkovic’s 3-pointer with one second left, his first basket in all three Euroleague games, allowed Baskonia to get into the decisive quarter.
He managed to keep the home team on edge, even though the last two minutes were dramatic. Giedraitis scored two free throws with 1.36 m left (77-73); Macon hit a 3-pointer fifteen seconds later to make it 77-76. With 60 seconds left, Fontecchio added two more points, but Macon replied again with another shot of three (79-79). Then Granger appeared, nerves of steel. He fouled, scored both free throws and, after the time-out, with 23 seconds remaining, Baskonia played the wild card for the last free throw he was able to take without entering the bonus. Granger was in charge of covering Papapetrou, who, forced, desperately missed the triple with two seconds left, and Baskonia took their first victory. Very worked, very serious.