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Who’s the boss?

PanathinaikosTalkbasket.net Athens based reporter was at OAKA to watch the Greek classic and here is what he reported:

The much anticipated Athens derby between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos took place on Sunday night. It was a historical game, as it was the game with the biggest combined budget in the history of European basketball as the two teams' budgets sum up a little less than 70.000.000 euros.

But it was hardly a tight derby as the Reds were no serious match for the Greens. Both teams started started the game with their powerful centers in order to force the opponent big guys to commit fouls. It was Schortsianitis who opened the score and gave Olympiakos the lead, but that was it. After that Panathinaikos took the lead and never looked back. Pekovic dominated the paint on both sides of the court, especially after Schortsianitis got benched and Nicholas was 3/3 from the arc in the 1st quarter where the score was 18-15.

The second quarter was Diamantidis' case as he made 3 threepointers in a row to increase the lead while Olympiakos coach Yiannakis was lost on the bench trying to find the ideal five who could carry the team. Although Olympiakos came back to 30-30 at some point, they couldn't hang on and the half time score was 43-35.

The third quarter was the one where Panathinaikos took their biggest and double digit lead with Sarunas Jasikevicus leading the team with some inspired assists which fed Pekovic really well and some tough shots, including 2 threepointers. With the help of their 18500 fans Panathinaikos pretty much 'locked' their lead and were leading t the end of the third quarter 63-52.

The last quarter started slowly as both teams struggled to score, especially Olympiakos which needed more than three minutes to score their first points. And all thanks to Israeli international Yotam Halperin who finished the game with an amazing stat line: 20 points and almost 100% from the free range. But unfortuntaly for Olympiakos it takes a lot more than just one player to beat Panathinaikos at their notorious home arena and they couldn't do that while stars such as Josh Childress and Nicola Vujcic were not on their best day while one can easily claim that Teo Papaloukas was by far the worst player on the court. As for their opponents, Pekovic was literally unstoppable with 9/9 for 2 and 21 points in just 18 minutes and Dimitris Dimantidis played yet another great all around game with full stats and the highest ranking. Antonis Fotsis was the one to put the finishing touch scoring a threepointer at the dying seconds while Panathinaikos fans celebrated frenzily at the stands.

Nikola Pekovic was awarted the matchday MVP for his performance.

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