Tough battle: Panathinaikos is hosting Olimpia Milano

Tough battle: Panathinaikos is hosting Olimpia Milano

In the third round of Euroleague, we have a very good match and very balanced one between Panathinaikos and Armani Milano. It`s very hard to predict the winner because both teams have big expectations from this season and both have the main objective to qualify in the Euroleague playoffs.

Panathinaikos played very well in this start of the season, but were stopped in last Euroleague round by ASVEL Lyon 79-78, in a match decided in the last second Calathes`s missed shot. In the national league, they beat Promitheas in last round 99-68, after a very good match from all the players. All players played at least 10 minutes, which allowed the important players to rest and be fresh for this big duel. Deshaun Thomas (15 points), Konstantinos Mitoglou (15 points and 9 rebounds) and Jacob Wiley (12 points and 4 rebounds) were the main contributors for the team. For this match, they have all the players fully fit.

The Italian powerhouse added Luis Scola to their already big and experienced squad. In the first game, Scola finished the game with 13 points, 7 rebounds in 7 assists. But, in the last game, against Happy Casa Brindisi, Milano lost 92-89. They had very good percentages from the field but made 17 turnovers which allowed Brindisi to have more shots attempts and score more points. Also, despite having 89 points, they managed to complete only 11 assists, pretty low number, because they have very good players in small positions, especially Sergio Rodriguez, a world-class point guard. They need to focus more, to be more patient and to find the open player, because they have more powerful opponent today and those mistakes will lead to another defeat for them. For this game, the missing players are Nemanja Nedovic and Arturas Gudaitis. They are already long-time absentees for Milano, so their absence isn’t too important for team tactics.

Panathinaikos have the edge in this game because they play in front of their fans and also in the domestic league, they gave to starting players maximum 20 minutes on the court. They also need to get back from their last round surprising defeat and won this big game. I expect a huge fight for the victory, but my prediction is Panathinaikos to win.

Photo: Euroleague

Bogdan Vasile Tirc