Panathinaikos- Kolossos Rhodes 98-71
The opening tip of the 2014-2015 season playoffs, found Panathinaikos in great shape and after a quick 11-0 after 2’, it was more than clear they had the upper hand. The first quarter ended 29-13 and all they had to do was to maintain a safe distance from the Rhodians who were not prepared for that kind of a start. Halftime score was 46-27 with Kolossos committing one turnover after the other.
After the break, the visitors tried to cut down the lead but still Panathinaikos was able to stay safely in front. 70-51 after 30 minutes with the home side being steadily in front with almost 20 points, giving the 4th period no real meaning. So the two teams will meet again in Rhodes in a couple of days with the “Greens” hoping to sweep the series. Batista was dominant inside both paints with 23 points and 7 rebounds, which 4 of them were offensive.
P.A.O.K.- A.G.O.Rethimno 66-59
AGOR defended very well and PAOK met many difficulties but finally got the first win to the series. The first period made clear that the two teams were anxious and tried to take care of their defensive duties as the score at the end of it was 14-13. Exactly the same pace went on until halftime since both teams exchanged the lead and finally got to the locker rooms tied 29-29.
When the game restarted, the home team had bad shooting totals, AGOR applied even more pressure full court and all that led to a 29-44 head for the visitors. The home team slightly reduced the gap by the end of the 3rd, 39-46 but it got back to double digits by the 31st minute since their defense was not physical enough. All they had to do was to find the open shots behind the arc to split the defense and that is what happened. PAOK had a 12-0 partial score, got in front and with momentum on their side, emerged victorious from the first game of the series. J.R. Bremer, the newcomer for PAOK was the top scorer with 13 points, all of them during the final period and Dedas with 10 was also an important part of the win since his shots helped to open up AGOR’s defense. For the defeated team Schaftner had 20 points.
Aris- A.E.K. 71-69
The most anticipated couple of the first round of the play-offs is this one with both teams playing great basketball thus far and hoping for a good presence during the post season. “Nick Gallis Hall” was sold out and the fans enjoyed a great game which started with the home team getting in front 11-4. AEK quickly stepped up with Sakota leading the way and concluded the first period leading 20-22. Aris got in front again but until the end of the half the two teams exchanged the lead multiple times to go to the locker rooms tied 40-40.
The home team had an 11-0 run at the start of the second half, managing to take control. Again the visitors reduced the lead but the fans boosted Aris to end the 3rd period being on the driver’s seat 63-52. Needless to say that “Dikefalos” was not about to give up and after some great defensive efforts, they equalized the game. 10 seconds left and Adegboye scores 2/2 free throws to make the final 71-69. Sakota missed a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left and failed to make the break as the series continue in OAKA stadium this Saturday. Drew Naymick was the MVP with 14 points and 10 rebounds and for AEK Delinikaitis stood out with 18 points.