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Panathinaikos Defeats CSKA in Kaliningrad Showdown
Jan 8, 2020, 7:27:00 AM

Panathinaikos Defeats CSKA in Kaliningrad Showdown

In a fierce battle between two of the EuroLeague’s big powerhouses, the Panathinaikos emerge as the victor in their intense game against CSKA Moscow after pulling away with a 106-102 win on the road.

It was one of those nights where Panathinaikos and CSKA provided everything that a basketball game needs to be perfect. There was drama, intense action, decisive plays, roaring crowds, and impressive individual plays.

It was indeed one of those unforgettable games for this season. Panathinaikos had 28 assists in the game while having only eight turnovers for the whole game.

After a lot of lead changes, shot after shot, the Panathinaikos were able to edge CSKA and come up with an impressive 106-102 win. Dinos Mitoglou had a career night in his second start of the season, while star Nick Calathes had a great night as well.

Both players were near in setting a new all-time league record.

Mitoglou tallied 25 points, and 16 boards to shatter his career-best double-double. He finished with a PIR of 34, and those numbers seemed to have flirted with his own career bests. His previous career highs were 20 points and 10 rebounds.

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Those 16 rebounds that he pulled were a new club record. The team-high 15 boards that were shared by Mike Batiste (March 1, 2006) and Antonis Fotsis (January 15, 2003) were standing for more than a decade. Mitoglou’s career night could not have been more timely.

Calathes was more than his usual self. He controlled the pace of the game and drained the shot that the team needed to force overtime against CSKA. He finished with 22 points, six rebounds, and 17 assists to come up with a PIR of 40.

To cap off his 200th EuroLeague game, the latter drew nine fouls in the game, which disrupted CSKA’s momentum when it mattered most. He was everywhere on the court and was effective on all sides.

Calathes came close to breaking Stefan Jokic’s 19 assists - which is the most assists in a game in EuroLeague history. He held the second and third-best assists total in the league after this one. Calathes had 18 assists back in April 2019.

CSKA played its part well in the game. The team had 46 rebounds, which is a new season-high for the team and is the team’s best in almost 15 years of basketball, grabbing 55 boards against the same team back in 2005.

Calathes has a long history of draining clutch shots against CSKA. He was able to drain a game-winner when he shot that three-pointer last season and was able to do it once again to complete the team’s late rally.

The team trailed CSKA by 87-81 with two minutes left in regulation. That was until CSKA had a meltdown and started getting sloppy with the ball, which allowed Calathes and the team to storm back and force an extra period before winning the game afterwards.

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Words: Paul Daniel Flores

Image: PA