Greek Basket League round-up (week 16)

A.G.O.Rethimno- Koroivos Amaliadas 78-66 o.t. (58-58)

AGOR climbed 5th to the League table after beating Koroivos in a dramatic match. Amaliada got in the game extremely concentrated and scored some easy points off turnovers that allowed them to end the 1st quarter leading 8-22. The home team had to turn things around, switched their defense to zone marking and reduced their turnovers, reaching the point difference to 8 right before half time (23-31).

But they did not stop there, coming straight from the locker rooms determined to take the lead. However Koroivos appeared calm and succeeded to stay in front after 30’, 41-46. Careful offensive choices and good defense were the key facts that allowed AGOR to cover their bad shooting totals and finally bring the game to overtime. Koroivos seemed to be tired as a result of the intense attempts to win the game in the regular time and during the extra 5 minutes they were unable to contain Rethimno that scored 20 points storming past them. Faye scored 14 points for AGOR while Aggelopoulos had 17 for the defeated side.

A.E.N.Kifissias- Panelefsiniakos 68-67

AENK could have had an easier evening but they underestimated their guests that almost treated them with their 10th defeat, but Markovic travelled during the last offensive play. The opening quarter had noce pace with both teams putting emphasis on scoring and the score was 20-22 with Panelefsiniakos appearing strong but soon AENK turned things around. First they got a small lead to end the half (36-32), and then they got a bigger one (59-47 after 30’) as a result of their physical defense and the correct offensive calls. Athanasoulas was there for the visitors giving them another shot at the game but Markovic’s turnover gave the win to the home team. Davis scored 16 for the winning team while Athanasoulas fought hard with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

Apollon Patras- Aris 76-60

El Amin shines once again putting an end to Aris’ 4-game winning streak. The visitors never really got in the game giving the upper hand early on, 17-13 after 10’ and Apollon took advantage of it safely going to half time in front 28-23, but managing to frustrate their opponents with their defensive tactics.

Aris was able to stay close and at times got the point difference to one point but the home side always had the answers. Mourtos got his team back in the game but with a small run the score after 3 quarters was 46-40. The visitors still had offensive problems that did not allow them to turn the game on their favor and during the last 5 minutes the locals skyrocketed the point difference even to 19. For the winner El Amin scored 20 points, Penn 17 and Fitzpatrick 14 while for Aris Vezenkov and Pasalic both had 18.

A.O.Trikala- Panionios 78-69

Panionios sinks lower day after day and now they will have to put a huge effort to overcome the odds since they could not beat Trikala to a game that was said to be a “final” for both sides. The home team saw themselves taking the lead 8-0 very early with Ingram scoring all points but soon the “Red and Blue” recovered and the score after 10’ was 24-23. The two teams were close and the pace of the game was satisfying with Trikala being in front most of the time but Panionios followed closely unable to perform a couple of defensive plays to overtake, but their opponents did a minute before the end of the half, gaining a +8 lead (48-40).

Chris Chougaz’s team was concentrated and forced their opponents to many turnovers that soon gave them the psychological push they needed. They had a 2-14 run, allowed Trikala only 6 points during the 3rd quarter but still the home team equalized (54-54) with one period remaining. And it was the point where Panionios had the “black-out” they usually do during the closing quarter, missed some open shots, could not defend and committed many turnovers, giving away this game since the home side did not spare them. Harris had 14 for the winners while for the “Red and Blue” Coleman scored 16 with 9 rebounds.

P.A.O.K.- K.A.O.Dramas 72-64

PAOK did not waste the chance to recover after the 2 consecutive defeats against Aris, this time beating KAOD who struggles to avoid relegation. The home team got the upper hand early on, finding some open shots and establishing their own pace to the game. 18-13 after 10 minutes with the visitors recovering but soon again losing control due to PAOK’s 8/14 shots behind the arc that gave them total control. 37-27 was the halftime score.

Defense was the strong part of Markopoulos’ team once again forcing bad shots for KAOD who seemed unable to find the easy points they needed to have a chance at the game. On the offensive end, “Dikefalos tou Vorra” was decent scoring points both inside and outside the paint to end the 3rd period leading 56-47. The visitors had to find a way to recover and decided to play tough and physical defense. It resulted to PAOK scoring almost all of their 4th quarter points for the free throw line, achieving to hold on to the game in a relatively easy way. Langford was the top scorer for the winners with 13 points while Zaras scored 15 for KAOD.

Kolossos Rhodes- Olympiacos 64-88

Easy Sunday evening in the island of Rhodes for Olympiacos who easily beat the locals. Good defensive efforts allowed them to gain an early 11-23 lead after 10’ that was steadily increased unti the end of the half that found them in front 28-48.

The Rhodians attempted to get back in the game but their choices in offense did not allow them to cut the lead to less than 17 points. After 3 periods the “Reds” were leading 49-66. The closing quarter did not have many things to offer since the visitors rested some of their key players while Kolossos gave up on the game. Top scorer was Spanoulis with 20 points while for the defeated side Scott had 10.

A.E.K.- Panathinaikos 62-70

A big game for the Greek Basket League took place in OAKA  stadium between AEK and Panathinaikos with the typically visitors taking the two points. The home team started the game with a 7-1 lead but soon their opponents tightened their defense and found some better offensive choices that helped them end the quarter leading 11-15.  The pace was significantly better during the second period with both sides trying to score from inside the paint in a matchup between Batista and Sarikopoulos  since Mensah-Bonsu already had 2 fouls. The Greek center found offensive solutions since he dominated due to his height and the decent defensive efforts helped AEK to reach the halftime mark leading 28-27.

The start of the second half was the key point of the game because Panathinaikos appeared aggressive and decisive on both ends of the court with Gist and Slaughter being their offensive leaders. The home team could hardly follow and the 3rd period ended with the “Greens” leading 39-50, making clear that the game was theirs for the taking. Inglish and Delinikaitis were out of shape and did not help the team when needed to make the comeback, Panathinaikos was concentrated and met no big difficulties during the closing quarter. MVP was Batista with 16 points and 10 rebounds while for AEK Mensah-Bonsu made another double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.