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Panathinaikos to play Maccabi in Euroleague final

Panathinaikos beat Montepaschi Siena 77-69 on Friday and will play Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv in the Euroleague final. The Israeli team downed Real Madrid 82-63 in the other semifinal.

Sunday's title game will feature Europe's two most dominant teams of late. Panathinaikos plays for its sixth continental trophy and Maccabi its fifth.

Nick Calathes, a former Florida guard, led Panathinaikos over the Italian champions with 17 points, while Mike Batiste added 16 points and seven rebounds. Dimitris Diamantidis had nine assists. Rimantas Kaukenas scored 13 points for Montepaschi, which has lost all four of its semifinal appearances.

Panathinaikos went on a 11-0 run to take its first lead before halftime and then tightened its defense.

"Maybe for the people who don't know Calathes they are surprised, but I was not," said Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, who is going for his eighth continental title. "I told him before the game that he would be one of the key players."

Malik Hairston scored eight points late in the game as Montepaschi drew within seven points. Batiste, however, scored three times to protect Panathinaikos' lead in the final minutes.

"We didn't play well for all 40 minutes," Kaukenas said. "If we had hit a couple of shots at the right time it would have been a different game."

In the later game, Maccabi led by three points at halftime before pulling away.

Chuck Eidson scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half for Maccabi. Sofoklis Schortsianitis had 16 points and Jeremy Pargo added 13 points and 7 assists. Ante Tomic led Madrid with 17 points and six rebounds.