Greek Cup: Aris, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos in the semis

ImageThe main portion of the Greek Cup quarter-finals were played today and the usual suspects made it through again. Namely Aris, Olympiacos and Panathinaikos.

Aris 75-63 Maroussi:

Maroussi was no match for Aris this time and the club from Thessaloniki got some kind of revenge for the elimination from the Euroleague by the Athenians. Aris started off strong, quickly bulding a double-digit lead which they kept to go to the break (45-30).

Maroussi tried to fight back in the third quarter, even coming as close as eight points late in the period, but Aris kept their cool, quickly answered with a 5-0 run and went to the final part of the game being up by 12. Maroussi again cut Aris' lead to 8, but experienced guard Nikos Hatzivrettas took over for Aris and safely led his team to victory and semifinal qualification.

PAOK 70-82 Olympiacos:

In a sold-out venue, the PAOK Sports Arena, it is always difficult to be the visiting team even if you are the favorite. Olympiacos managed to take a small lead by the end of the first quarter, yet PAOK quickly fought back in the second and went to the locker rooms being up by 5 (40-35).

Things got even worse for the Reds early in the third quarter as PAOK's lead grew to as many as 12 points. It was of course high time to attempt a comeback: Yotam Halperin hit Olympiacos' first three-pointer after 13 failed attempts, and Josh Childress scored another basket to cut the margin to 7. By the end of the quarter it was a 1-point game. In the last period the two teams were going hand by hand mutually exchanging leads, before Linas Kleiza scored 5 consecutive points and Milos Teodosic added another three-pointer to put their team infront by 5. Maroussi was done after that and Olympiacos cruised to the victory in the last couple of minutes.

Panathinaikos 80-66 Panellinios:

Obradovic started with Shermadini in the starting five who faced some problems from Panellinios' front line at the beginning, the result was Panellinios to take a 11-15 lead. Then Batiste made his season-debut and the situation changed with Panathinaikos taking the lead and finishing the first quarter leading 22-15 with a 11-0 run. In the second quarter Tsartsaris was thrown into the court as well, him too making his season debut. Half time result was 47-32 to Panathinaikos.

In the second half Panathinaikos earned their biggest lead of the game, 62-42 thanks to a Batiste basket. The third quarter ended with Panathinaikos lelading 67-49. In the last quarter both teams were more relaxed and Panellinios managed to cut the lead to +12 thanks to two back-to-back threepointers by Blakney and Charalambides. Batiste scored his 15th point of the game and was withdrawn to the bench by his coach and Blakney made the final score 80-66.

There is one more matchup pending, Iraklis (A2) – Panionios which will be played on a later date.

The matchups of the semi finals are:

Aris – Olympiacos
Iraklis/Panionios – Panathinaikos

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