Panionios- K.A.O.Dramas 72-79
Panionios tried but KAOD was superior, was in control of the game and got a difficult win, placing a tombstone over their opponent’s hope to avoid relegation. After a tight opening quarter (12-15), KAOD found their shots and stayed on top while the “Red and Blue” followed up close, 28-30 at halftime.
After the restart, Coleman boosted the home team to get a small lead but before the end of the 3rd period, the visitors had already got in front again (51-53). The last 10 minutes would have been heart-breaking but a couple of mistaken calls from the referees and bad psychology of Panionios players, gave KAOD the chance to take a safe lead and maintain it until the end. After the end of the game, Panionios fans verbally attacked the players while asked more explanations from people of the Board but no one was there to respond, with the police not allowing them to get close to the locker rooms. MVP of the game was Zaras who was unstoppable with 25 points while Coleman and Verginis had 16 for the defeated team.
Apollon Patras- A.E.K. 48-89
Many expected a close one here but AEK were outstanding, crushing their opponents behind Sakota’s 27p. The explosive start the visitors had (8-26) put heavy pressure on Apollon that seemed unable to recover and try to reduce the gap throughout the 2nd period. Their very bad shooting totals especially behind the arc combined with their poor rebounding, helped AEK to stay on top 21-43 at halftime.
Mensah-Bonsu was dominant inside both paints while on the other side El Amin never got in the game, with the home team giving up on the game (38-70 after 30’), only to see a pointless closing quarter. MVP was Sakota while the English center had 16 points and 12 rebounds performing a double-double.
Aris- Koroivos Amaliadas 80-59
Easy evening at home for Aris who only met some difficulties during the first half. Their numb start and their weak defense gave Koroivos the chance to get in front 16-20 after 10’ but soon they recovered, found some easy shots and scored on fast break achieving to take a small 35-34 lead at halftime.
The restart of the game was the key point for them as they had a 17-3 scoring run, stunning Koroivos and in fact making a big step towards the win. 59-45 after 30 minutes with the visitors trying to react but the home team defended well managing to extend their lead at the end. Vezenkov was once again the protagonist of the match with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists while on the other side Bowers scored 17.
Panelefsiniakos- A.O.Trikala 77-81
Very important win for Trikala that seem to escape the danger of relegation, the same time that the home team is in very difficult spot. Despite their early lead, Panelefsiniakos could not stay calm and closed the half trailing 37-47.
After the break, Trikala appeared numb and Athanasoulas and Markovic did their best to bring their team on top again, 63-58. During the closing quarter the visitors wanted the game more, played with passion on defense and finally escaped with the win. Hall was outstanding with 19 points and 14 rebounds.
A.E.N.Kifissias- Kolossos Rhodes 73-84
Kolossos was superior all through the match and did not allow the home team to become a major threat. The halftime ended 39-42 but from then on, the Rhodians found some open shots, reduced their turnovers and slowly built a good lead until the end of the game. The key stat was the 3-point percentage, 48% for the winners against 21% AENK had, which gave them the boost needed during the 3rd period. MVP was Waters with 15 points, 11 assists and only one turnover.
Panathinaikos- P.A.O.K. 83-69
PAOK had the chance to avenge themselves for the big Greek Cup semi-final, but the “Greens” were concentrated and got away with the win. PAOK only stayed close during the first period but when Jankovic and Pappas stepped up, the home team got a fair deal to end the first half, 39-34.
Carter and Tsochlas tried to keep the visitors close but Ivanovic’s team was focused, exploited their chances and after 30’ they were in front 61-49. PAOK did not give up but Panathinaikos was dominant and when Carter was guarded tighter, it was clear they did not have a chance at the game. Vlado Jankovic scored 14 for the winners and Carter who was the top socrer, had 17 points.
Olympiacos- A.G.O.Rethimno 80-60
Olympiacos spent an easy evening at home, warming up for the big game against Fenerbache this week for Euroleague. Rethimno surprised their opponents early on, leading 15-21 after 10 minutes but soon the “Reds” recovered and put more energy on the court, quickly overtaking and concluded the half in front 43-37.
When the game resumed, the visitors did not give up and with Simpson carrying his team, achieved to stay close until 25’, when Olympiacos had an 8-0, bringing the point difference to double digits. AGOR ran out of fuel and the home team easily stayed on top. Lojeski scored 14 points and for Rethimno Simpson had 9. It is worth to mention that no player of the visitors had more than 9 points.