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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Wilkins-Led Greek Side Escapes as Club Champ


PARIS -- Stojan Vrankovic blocked a shot in the final seconds to save Panathinaikos as the Greek team took its first European Basketball Club Championship.

Moscow's CSKA beat Real Madrid 74-73 earlier in the day to take the bronze medal.

Panathinaikos held off Barcelona, 67-66, in the final Thursday and has a chance for a unique double as its soccer team beat defending champion Ajax of Amsterdam in the first leg of the semifinals of the European Champions league and has the return match in Greece.

Dominique Wilkins helped ignite Panathinaikos in the second half as he scored 10 of his team's first 16 points after Panathinaikos had a 35-25 halftime lead. Wilkins ended with 16 points, 10 rebounds and was named the Most Valuable player.

But in the final seconds, as Barcelona whittled away a 5-point deficit to 67-66 in the final minute and had the ball with an open basket, Wilkins was worried.

"We panicked a bit in the final minute,'' Wilkins said. "We can't give the ball over like that. We got lucky.''

Barcelona complained that Vrankovic's block was illegal and that the clock malfunctioned at the end of the game, but lost both arguments.

In the earlier match, CSKA Moscow resisted a late comeback by Real Madrid to preserve third place.

Holders Real, who fell in the semifinals to Spanish rivals Barcelona, enjoyed a brilliant start thanks to Zoran Savic.

The veteran Croat scored his team's first 10 points to give them a 10-7 lead after four minutes.

Savic was there again in the final stages to help Real level at 73-73 with two free throws 27 seconds from time.

But Vasily Karasev then gained two free throws, converting one in the very last moments to give Moscow the final edge. ()