In spite of desperate fight Panathinaikos Athens lost in the end of a very nervous game to BC Khimki — 78-77 (21-14, 25-25, 15-20, 17-18), and eventually scored third place in the final group A standings. As for our team it ranked second. BC Khimki is the only team that managed to beat Panathinaikos twice.
Best scorers: Planinic (16 + 3 assists), Davis (13 + 6 rebounds), Fridzon (13), Rivers (12), Loncar (10 + 5 rebounds)
Argiris Pedoulakis, Panathinaikos Athens head coach:
— I’m proud of my team and the way we played today, we played a good game. Because of the fact we came directly before the game, we didn’t have concentration in the first half. After big break we played much better in the defense and offense, had much more concentration and used the weak sides of BC Khimki. In general, it was a good game for us, but we lost because of some small mistakes. Even when our opponent got the solid lead, we didn’t give up and calmed down. We lost Schortsanitis, he was injured and we had to play with 4 fouls on our two big men. I wish BC Khimki all the best in future Euroleague games.
Rimas Kurtinaitis, BC Khimki head coach:
— I’m happy with the fact the BC Khimki is the only Euroleague team that managed to beat Panathinaikos Athens twice this season. We could have played better in the end of the game, nevertheless I would like to thank my players for their work and devotion they have shown today. It’s great that Zoran Planinic returned and again proved himself as a leader of the team; he made a huge impact to our victory. Before start of the season everyone said that our group is a group of death, but we have shown we could fight on equal terms with other Euroleague teams.
Paul Davis, BC Khimki center:
— We knew that Panathinaikos would come in and fight for a victory. It was a tough game for pride, our opponent played well. I know they wanted to beat us in Russia because they were down in Athens in our first game. It was a close game like I expected, but we turned around and scored an important victory. We are looking forward now. Each team has to play 40 minutes and every squad can make a comeback in a few minutes, scoring quick points. We need to grow and not allow our opponent to score easy points.