Panathinaikos struggle to reach EuroLeague Final-8 Playoffs continues, after 85-66 Fenerbahce defeat
Fenerbahce BEKO returned to a winning streak on Friday, easily breaking Panathinaikos OPAP Athens defence, with a score 85-66 at Istanbul. The game was part of Round 22 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Fenerbache ascended to the top of EuroLeague and became the first team to qualify to the competition’s Final-8 Playoffs. The Turkish representative is among the four most likely contenders to reach this year’s Euroleague Finals, in a back-to-back fashion after finishing in the runner-up position behind Real Madrid last year.
So far, Fenerbahce has won 19 out of 22 fixtures. The game was decided rather easily from the first half even though Panathinaikos made a flying start. Fenerbahce counter-attacked and soon led with a high margin, mainly originating from shooting efficiency in 2-point Field Goals (FGs). On the contrary Panathinaikos’ display was mainly impacted from the poor shot conversion rates of 22% on 3-point FGs.
The Italian power forward, Nicolo Melli drew the plaundits last night, securing the most valuable player (MVP) spot with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. In Panathinaikos side, the American shooting guard Sean Kilpatrick made an important contribution with 19 points. With the latest defeat, Panathinaikos slipped in the 12th position in EuroLeague having won 9 out of 13 games. Panathinaikos’ dreams for progression to Final-8 Playoffs have not withered yet, even though Friday’s defeats severely undermined these aspirations.