Nick Calathes dramatic three-point shooter brings Panathinaikos a step closer to Euroleague Final-8 Playoffs
A miracle occurred on Friday night in Moscow, which might in the end determine the direction of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens direction in 2019 Turkish Airlines Euroleague. An unforeseen three-point game-winner shot from Panathinaikos point guard, Nick Calathes, emerged victorious just seconds before the ending a tightly contested game with CSKA Moscow.
The vital 78-77 win gives Panathinaikos a chance to proceed in the next stage of the competition and view for the Final-8 Playoffs of Turkish Airlines Euroleague. Calathes improbable shot from roughly six metres beyond the three-point line ended a thrilling second half, where both teams struggled to emerged victorious. CSKA did not manage to respond to a marvellous shot as there were only 0.3 seconds left in the game.
Thanks to Calathes shot, Panathinaikos has an opportunity to convert a rather average campaign into a successful season, reaching the next round of Final-8 Playoffs. Panathinaikos now has four games remaining in the regular season to reach the next draw. In the coming days, the Athens team will face KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz at home while by the end of next week the team would travel to north Italy to compete with AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan. Provided that Panathinaikos accumulates four positive results in the next games it can reach as high as the 6th best position in Turkish Airlines Euroleague standings.
In the aftermath of the match the U.S. coach Rick Pitino gave a vote of confidence to Nick Calathes and explained the role of luck in open shots:
‘We actually wanted to run a pick and roll and see what we could get out of it, but they left Nick wide open and I told him: Look, get open and then bank the ball in from 35 feet…Sometimes luck is an element and we got lucky with that shot, but we did all the right things to stay in the game.’
Then, the Panathinaikos maestro divulged part of his secrets of last night success and unforeseen match improvement in last month:
‘Our motto is to get better and better every day, to have a PHD. That stands for being Passionate, Hungry and Driven to get better. During the game, and especially in the third quarter, we kept talking about keeping it close and winning it in the final two minutes. We made a lucky shot in the end, but not falling over in the third quarter was a key to winning the game.’