Papapetrou shines in Greens' rout of Gran Canaria
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens dominated Herbalife Gran Canaria 102-87 on Thursday at Olympic Sports Center Athens for its second win in as many home games this season. After a hot start for the visitors, Ioannis Papapetrou came off the bench to lead a 15-2 Panathinaikos charge and the visitors never seriously threatened again. The outcome took the Greens' record to 2-1, while Gran Canaria fell to 1-2. Keith Langford and Lukas Lekavicius led the winners with 16 points apiece; Papapetrou amassed 15 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals; Nikos Pappas scored 13, DeShaun Thomas 12 and Nick Calathes ran the show with 9 assists and 3 steals. Marcus Eriksson made 5 of 8 three-pointers and was joined by Chris Evans with 15 points to lead Gran Canaria. Clevin Hannah added 12 points and 6 assists and Luke Fischer contributed 10 points and 6 rebounds in defeat.
Evans and Eulis Baez drained back-to-back three-pointers to help the visitors to a 6-12 lead, but the introduction of Papapetrou off the bench fueled a 15-2 Panathinaikos charge to lead 21-14 after 10 minutes. Lekavicius and Thomas split the points in an 8-0 run that gave the hosts their first double-digit lead, 29-19. Despite some nice plays from Albert Oliver for Gran Canaria, Panathinaikos stretched the lead to 16 on a Pappas triple and the margin settled at 50-36 at halftime. Little changed in the third quarter as the Greens cruised and upped the difference to 74-55 entering the fourth. Lekavicius took the Panathinaikos cushion into the 20s with a three-point play to start the final quarter and, despite the red-hot shooting of Eriksson, the visitors were unable to mount a serious threat the rest of the way.
With the visitors off to a promising 6-12 start five minutes into the game, Panathinaikos needed a spark. Enter Ioannis Papapetrou. Over the ensuing four-plus minutes, he keyed a 15-2 charge by making a basket, a triple and 2 free throws – all without a miss – plus 3 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block. He posted a performance index rating of 15 in that stretch alone. And after Papapetrou set the tone, Panathinaikos never looked back.
Papapetrou was not alone in dominating off the bench. In fact, the Greens had four scorers in double figures who did not start. The reserves accounted for 65 points, which was nearly double the starters' 37 points! Even though the Gran Canaria second unit collected 42 points, it paled in comparison to Panathinaikos's mighty reserves.
Did you know?
The 102 points Panathinaikos scored was the most the Greens amassed in a non-overtime game in the last decade. The club record is 123 points against Chorale Roanne in November 2007.
Panathinaikos remains home next week to take on another team in green, Lithuanian champion Zalgiris Kaunas, on Friday, while Gran Canaria faces a stiff challenge at home against undefeated CSKA Moscow.
Thursday, October 18, 2018