Panathinaikos defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv 81-63 as Oded Katash’s squad effectively ended any chances of the Yellow & Blue finding their way into the postseason. The hosts jumped out to a a huge 25-9 lead after the first quarter thanks to strong play by Mario Hezonja and Aaron White while Ioannis Papapetrou and the Greens defense closed out the final frame by holding Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s team to just 8 points to take the win.
With defeat, Maccabi’s Euroleague record dropped to 11-16 and are in 14th place while Panathinaikos is just below the Yellow & Blue in 15th with a 10-17 record on the season. Ioannis Papapetrou led PAO with 20 points, Aaron White added 15 points while Mario Hezonja and Konstantinos Mitoglu each scored 12 points in the win. Scottie Wilbekin with 14 points was the only Maccabi player in double-digits as John Dibartolomeo and Ante Zizic each scored 9 points in the loss.
Konstantinos Mitoglu got the game started of with a dunk and Mario Hezonja added five quick points while Aaron White scored a pair of baskets to give Panathinaikos a quick 11-3 lead midway through the first quarter. Chris Jones scored two buckets, but Eleftherios Bochoridis, Ioannis Papapetrou, White and Hezonja couldn’t stop scoring to give Oded Katash’s team a 25-9 lead after ten minutes.
Bochoridis got the second quarter underway with a 3-pointer, Georgios Papagiannis and Ben Bentil scored for the Greens while John Dibartolomeo hit a corner triple and Ante Zizic scored inside but the hosts stayed in front 34-16 with 6:18 left in the frame. Scottie Wilbekin hit two shots from outside, Sandy Cohen added points as well but Mitoglu and White scored as the half came to an end with Panathinaikos holding a 43-30 advantage.
Jones opened the third quarter with a layup, Elijah Bryant nailed a 3-pointer but Hezonja, Howard Sant Roos and Papapetrou answered for the hosts as they stayed in the lead 51-35 midway through the period. Wilbekin and White traded buckets, Papapetrou added points while Tyler Dorsey and Wilbekin went from downtown as Angelo Caloiaro, Dibartolomeo and Zizic scored to cut the lead to just 3-points, 58-55 after thirty minutes of action.
Hezonja, Papapetrou and a big Bentil dunk immediately bumped the Panathinaikos lead back up 65-55 with 6:25 remaining in the fourth quarter. Wilbekin scored Maccabi’s first points of the fourth quarter with 4:50 left in regulation time, but Papagiannis, Papapetrou and White blew away the Yellow & Blue by 18-points.