Two titans of European basketball squared off in EuroLeague action on Thursday. Spanish giants Real Madrid traveled to Greece to take on Panathinaikos in what ended up being a tightly-contested affair. It came down to the very last moment, and eventually, the heroics of a former NBA player pushed Madrid to a 74-73 win.
Rudy Fernandez spent four years in the league, three with the Portland Trail Blazers and one with the Denver Nuggets. Since returning to Spain in 2012, he’s suited up for Real Madrid, where he’s won EuroLeague in 2015 and 2018.
The expectations are as high as ever for Madrid this year, even though the face of last year’s squad, Luka Doncic, is now in Dallas. Thursday’s game looked to be a bit up in the air, but Fernandez was able to come through late, knocking down an awkward triple to beat Panathinaikos.
According to EuroHoops.net, Madrid had already punched its tickets to the playoffs, so this was merely a feather in their caps and one impressive way to win a game. As for Panathinaikos, coached by none other than Rick Pitino, this was a tough loss, as their playoff hopes are now dependent on beating a Buducnost squad that features former NBAers Earl Clark and Norris Cole.