From Athens - with victory!

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11.11.2021

11.11.2021

In the dramatic ending, a mid-range hit by Lorenzo Brown 19 seconds before the buzzer after a graceful crossover and a solid defense in the final possession bring UNICS an away victory over 6-time Euroleague champion Panathinaikos under the leadership of Dimitris Priftis - 74:72!

 
Euroleague. Regular season. 9th round.
Panathinaikos (Athens, Greece) - UNICS (Kazan, Russia) - 72:74 (15:15, 21:20, 18:19, 18:20).
UNICS: Canaan (15 + 5 assists), Vorontsevich (15), L. Brown (13 + 8 rebounds + 2 assists), Hezonja (9 + 4 rebounds), Jekiri (8 + 9 rebounds).
Panathinaikos: Papagiannis (14 + 17 rebounds), Macon (14 + 3 assists), Papapetrou (10 + 2 rebounds), Perry (10).

 


The main intrigue of this match was the meeting of Kazan with their former head coach Dimitris Priftis, who heads Panathinaikos last season. And the Athens club itself does not need any special recommendations - a six-time winner of the Euroleague, a 39-time champion of Greece.
 
Croatian forward Mario Hezonja moved from Panathinaikos to UNICS this summer. By the way, today the tribunes booed him mercilessly.
UNICS started this match with the following roster: John Brown, Lorenzo Brown, Jarrell Brantley, Mario Hezonja and Andrei Vorontsevich.
 
In the first quarter, the opponents could not score almost four minutes from the field, only from free throws - 2: 1. But then the Greeks began to hit, 9: 1, nine shots from UNICS do not reach the goal. The substitute O.J. Mayo ignited Kazan, 11: 9, 13:13 from his hand. The result of the quarter is logical - 15:15.
 
In the second quarter, the guests were in the lead for a short time - 17:19. Then they had to constantly catch up with the owners. We never managed to level the score, but our team did not allow Panathinaikos to go ahead. Vorontsevich scattered, Hezonja began to hit. The result of the first half is 36:35. Key numbers: rebounds 17-19, steals 2-5, losses 9-7.
 
The third quarter was left to the citizens of Kazan. The guests only once allowed the Greeks to level the score - 43:43. The rest of the time UNICS was ahead, 43:48 after Jekiri's dunk. The home team constantly had to catch up. And in the last second of the period due to the wonderful "three" from "Panathinaikos" again caught up with Kazan - 55:55, the result of the quarter.
 
The last ten minutes were predictably very nervous. One team went a little ahead - 58:55, then the other - 63:65. But in general, the guests were less mistaken. And the decisive one was Lorenzo Brown's precise two-point shot 19 seconds before the end - 74:72! Labor victory for UNICS, the first on the road in the Euroleague this season!

POSTGAME COMMENTS:


Velimir PERASOVIC, BC UNICS head coach:
“I am very happy because it’s always very difficult to win in OAKA. We know that after two losses for Panathinaikos that they were nervous and a victory would have been very important. Like the last games, we started very bad. But finally we found a way to stop their creation and their outside players. In the end, both teams could have won the game. We had more luck that our shot went in and their shot didn’t. And the victory went to us.”
 
Isaiah Canaan, BC UNICS guard:
“We stayed together at the end. We got the stops that we needed. Give Panathinaikos credit. They came out and played a good game. Their crowd was amazing. They feed off that crowd. They play good at home. We were expecting a good game. We just made the stops and plays at the end.”

 Lorenzo BROWN, BC UNICS guard:
“Just a bunch of energy from both teams who were out here playing hard. All of our players played consistently tonight. So we earned it tonight for sure.”

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