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Play-Offs Round of 16 report: PAOK take 3-point lead to Tenerife


PAOK will head into the second leg of the Round of 16 next week with a narrow advantage after securing a 66-63 win over Iberostar Tenerife on Tuesday evening.

PAOK overcame a 19-point, 12-rebound effort from Canadian forward Aaron Doornekamp, who knocked down a triple in the dying seconds to reduce the deficit to three.

Zanis Pieners led PAOK with 15 points while center Keith Clanton had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Linos Chrysikopoulos contributed 11 points, 4 boards and 3 assists.

"Anytime you get a win it's a good thing," said PAOK's Thaddus McFadden, the Play-Off Qualifiers MVP who was held to 9 points on 3 of 12 shooting.

"We gave up some opportunities at the end of the game. This is a leg so you want to win by as many points as possible, but we know what we need to work on. We're happy about the win but we're not satisfied about it. We're just going to get back to business, practice, and work on our mistakes.

PAOK Head Coach Soulis Markopoulos had only praise for his squad which finished 7-7 in the Regular Season and then upset Partizan in their Play-Off Qualifier tie.

"I want to congratulate my players," he said. "It was a great effort against an exceptional team. They played great defense, of course there were some periods in the game that we didn't play up to that standard but we played against a very good team that plays very good defense. 

"It's more a team than individual players and they know how to play to their advantages and take advantage of their opponents' defense and score from the perimeter and the post."

The Canary Islanders, one of the best road teams in the Basketball Champions League this season, got 12 points from Marius Grigonis and 8 from Rodrigo San Miguel.

The first half was a cagey affair. PAOK got out to a double-digit lead midway through the second period but Tenerife clawed it back to a four-point game at half-time.

A San Miguel 3-ball tied game at 42 for Tenerife midway through third, before Doornekamp gave Tenerife their first lead of the game. 

However, PAOK held their nerve. From there, they went on a 15-2 run to end the period, with Peiners and Chrysikopoulos combining for 10 points to take an 11-point lead into the final quarter.

Grigonis opened the quarter on a 5-0 run by himself to get the deficit back to single digits and Tenerife outscored PAOK 17-9 overall.

"Congratulations to PAOK, it was a big home win for them," Tenerife's Georgios Bogris said.

"For us, it was the first time we came as the favourite to a game and we didn't show up like this. Usually we are the outsiders and we surprise but we came too chilled because we thought we would win the game easily."

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