Greek Basket League round-up (week 12)

K.A.O.Dramas- Kolossos Rhodes 68-72

Kolossos performed very well during the first half, did not continue this way and almost lost the game in the end but they stuck to their plan and walked away with a difficult win on the road. KAOD did not defend well in the beginning and seemed to play with no passion allowing their opponents a double-digit lead 13-23 after 10’. They tried to react after the break but it was quite late since the visitors had gained momentum that kept them going until the end of the half when they led by 21 points, 29-50.

The “Dramians” returned to the game trying to turn things around and switched their defense to zone, forcing difficult shots while they controlled the board. This strong start alongside their fans support helped the players to recover and reduce the gap to 12 points (51-63) after 3 periods. The pressure was heavy on Kolossos side and it was obvious since they did not have patience and did not look for the correct choices. On defense KAOD was tight again and picked up the pace offensively, bringing the point difference to 2 points right before the end, but Smith missed the lay-up and wasted a chance for his team to get the game to overtime. Two free-throws from Stefanidis sealed the deal for the visitors who had Scott with 17 points and 10 rebounds and on the other side Zaras’ heroics (22 points) where not enough.

Panionios- Apollon Patras 68-71

Apollon managed to win away for first time after 6 failed attempts and Panionios suffered a defeat that can be very decisive concerning if they will save the season or not. The ‘Red and Blue” were very stressed at the beginning and that allowed Apollon to dominate and take control of the game. After 10’ the score was 18-20 since the home team had a small run to save the day. With steady steps and taking their time in offense, Panionios stepped up, played strong defense and secured some important rebounds, managing to get in the locker rooms leading 37-34. At that time, Coleman already had 12 points and 8 rebounds.

The start of the second half was impressive with Panionios taking control but El Amin who was negative to that point, proved to be more focused, helped his team with his points the same time that Skordilis and Galloway gave offensive solutions inside the paint. The score in the middle of the 3rd was 55-62 and Apollon seemed to have full control but once again the home side made the comeback and stayed close ( 50-53) after 30’. The closing quarter was tight all along, and at the end the game went to the free throws where Apollon missed only one, Korolev missed two and the home team fell short to the Greek Cup finalists who had Skordilis in great shape (13 points and 12 rebounds) and for Panionios Coleman had 22 points and 14 boards.

A.G.O.Rethimno- A.O.Trikala 81-83

Trikala stayed strong at the end and escaped with the 2 points from Creta. The home team started the game playing with quick pace and good offensive flow, forcing Trikala to chase them, After 10 minutes they were in front 24-21. Rethimno was creative in offense and controlled the rebounds but could not create a safe lead mostly due to Harris’ offensive efforts that kept Trikala close until the end of the half, 45-41.

The start of the second half was the key point of the game since the visitors had a 0-11 scoring run that gave them total control of the match. After 3 periods they were leading 55-66 and remained on top for 5 more minutes, when the comeback attempt begun from the home team. Kalampokis and Faye led a 14-3 run taking advantage of the relaxed Trikala defense. However when the game got to the free-throws, they were more patient and of course made their shots count while Faye missed the buzzer beater that would lead the game to overtime, giving the win to Trikala that had Harris “on fire” with 23 points leading them. On the other side Faye had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Rehimno.

Koroivos Amaliadas- A.E.N.Kifissias 79-70

AENK is clearly not in their best form and with their 4th consecutive defeat seem that they could not take advantage of their great start in the season. On the other side Koroivos had a losing streak since 15th of November and the pressure for both teams was visible right from the start especially for the home team that committed to many fouls and tried to set a very low pace to the game, finishing the 1st period trailing 13-15. Despite being on top of their opponents until the half of the second quarter, AENK switched off at that point, giving Koroivos the chance to overtake and never lose the lead again. They finished the half in front 39-32.

After the half-time break the home team retained their good pace finding some open shots that allowed them to settle themselves on top. With Mavroeidis leading his team’s scoring Amaliada had a clear 61-47 lead after 30 minutes of basketball. The closing quarter did not hold any surprises as AENK played with no passion and the home team faced no difficulties in maintaining their lead. The end of the game found Koroivos celebrating the end of a bad losing streak with Mavroeidis having 27 points, 6 rebounds and 11 drawn fouls while npw AENK struggles to remain on play-off course.

P.A.O.K. – A.E.K. 73-71

A.E.K. was leading the game throughout but PAOK stole the win after 39 minutes of chasing their opponents. The visitors started well finding multiple offensive solutions and with English leading the way, they finished the 1st period in front 18-23. Delinikaitis stepped up for “Dikefalos” and dominated the paint despite Langford’s attempts helping AEK to get a 14-point lead one minute before the end (26-40). The two sides went to the half time with coach Sakota’s team in front 32-42 and in full control.

The start of the second half was very bad for the home team that soon found themselves trailing by 15p. (37-52). At that point they tightened up their defense, controlled the rebounds and with Carter scoring some easy points, they ran a 16-3 until the end of the 3rd period returning to the game, 53-55. PAOK tried to overtake right from the start of the 4th period but AEK managed to keep a small distance, up until the last second of the game, when Carter made a shot bringing his team to 1 point (70-71), the pressure they applied resulted in a turnover and Odom hit a big 3-pointer leading to his team big win. Langford had 18 for the winners and gave his team precious points when they needed them to stay close. For AEK Delinikaitis scored 14.

Olympiacos- Aris 84-68

Aris could not resist Olympiacos who had 3 players with double digit points and stayed close for less than a half. The start of thegame was nervous from both sides and the 17-17 score at the end of it proves it. From then on the “Reds” got a +5 lead that was raised to 10 (45-35) at the end of the half since coach Sfairopoulos’ side was tight on defense and had Lojeski in form.

Aris had to defend in order to stay in the game but they could not follow their opponent’s fast and aggressive pace that skyrocketed the difference to 16 early on, clearly showing which side was the favorites. Theend of the 3rd found the visitors trailing 67-49 and despite their 6-0 run after the break, Olympiacos remained focused and got the win. Printezis had 16 for the winners while Vezenkov scored 14 for the away team.

Panathinaikos- Panelefsiniakos 91-54

There was almost no doubt that the Greek Champions would walk away with the win in this match and despite their numb start (15-16 after 10’), they recovered and with Diamantidis and Mavroeidis leading the scoring, the point difference soon went to double digits with the half time score being 40-26.

From that point on Panathinaikos only had to be concentrated and secure the win, coach Ivanovic used all 12 players of his roster and the “Greens” easily won this game, having Fotsis with 13 points and  Blums with 12. Looby stood out for Panelefsiniakos with 18 points.