First week for 2014 in Greek Basket League, with many interesting games taking place as always, all reviewed below

Ikaros Chalkidas- PAOK 78-86

The opening game for 2014 took place in Chalkida, where PAOK controlled the pace of the game, did not allow Ikaros to threaten them and emerged victorious. The away side took care of their defense, and by the end of the first quarter they were leading 19-25, but they did not stop there. Tsairelis led his team offensively, the host team had no answer to the pressure they were under and the differenced skied to 26 points (28-54) by the end of the half.

Despite the bad 20 minutes they played, coach Likogiannis’ team did not give up and tried to make the comeback. However they did not achieve to cut the lead early on but they ran a 21-4 streak during the 4th quarter that brought them withing 12 points difference. It was the best they could do since PAOK did not allow them to become dangerous and finally got the win,  that is their 8th this season. MVP was Tsairelis who scored 21 points, while for another match, Asca was the most active player for Ikaros, scoring 20p. and grabbing 6 rebs.

Aris- Kolossos Rhodes 57-68

Kolossos managed to get the win against Aris, to climb even more to the league table. The Rhodians showed they were determined to win the game from the first quarter, when they took a 9-point lead, 13-22. From then on, Aris tightened up their defense allowing Kolossos only 13 points during the second, and with Pelekanos leading the offense, they closed the gap to 5, 30-35 by the end of the half.

The gap closing attempts continued during the 3rd quarter, from Aris players, who kept following Kolossos within the 5-point range, However, Taylor Smith had a personal 5-0 run, giving the away team the boost they needed, From then on, Aris did not return to the game, since their opponents were very careful and did not allow another comeback. MVP was Smith, who scored 13p. with 7 rebounds, while Pelekanos had 15 with 5 rebs for the home side.

K.A.O.Dramas- A.O. Trikala 83-70

KAOD again took advantage of their homecourt, played very good basketball and finally got a relatively easy win. The team from Drama started the game with enthusiasm, managing to close the 1st quarter leading 20-15. Trikala tried to cut the lead but their opponents could easily find the way to the basket, securing their 5-point lead, 36-31, by the end of the half.

Granger and Evans were in great shape, keeping Trikala close to the score, even cutting the lead to 3 points (50-53) after 30 minutes of play. But during the remaining 10 minutes, the Americans ran out of energy, no other player could follow KAOD’s quick pace and the home team secured the win. Vaughn dominated inside the paint, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while Evans had 26 for the defeated side.

A.E.Nea Kifissia- Panelefsiniakos  81-73

AENK defeated Panelefsiniakos and climbed 6th at the League table. The game had good pace right from the jump-ball, allowing the home side to set the quick pace they usually play. After 10 minutes the score was 26-19. The away team did not let the situation get out of hand and tightened up their defense, switched to zone marking and cut the lead to 2 points (37-35) at halftime.

The game kept being close after the break, with  the two teams exchanging the lead, and the 3rd quarter came to an end 57-56. The key point of the game was the 4th quarter and especially the second half of it, when Panelefsiniakos ran out of solutions offensively, giving AENK the chance to have a 6-0 run and secure the win. Man of the Match was Tsaldaris who scored 20 points, while Ross had 18 for the away team.

Ilissiakos- A.G.O.Rethimno 86-72

Ilisiakos recorded a very important win against AGOR, that got him out of the last position if the League table. Despite AGOR controlling the first quarter and leading 15-18, Ilissiakos had an outstanding second quarter, took advantage of their opponents consecutive misses and closed the half leading 42-30.

Change of pace at the second half, since AGOR stepped up, turned their defense to full court press, and having a partial 29-13, closed the 3rd quarter leading 54-59.  This impressive game continued throughout the 10 remaining minutes, while Ilissiakos improved their defense, scored some easy points and finally got a big win, playing excellent basketball at times. MVP was Stephens who scored 14 points but grabbed 11 rebounds, while Hart scored 21 for AGOR.

Panionios- Olympiacos 66-77

The most important game of the week took place in Nea Smirni, where Panionios and Olympiacos faced each other for the second place of the Greek League. Olympiacos started strong and had a 1-10 run after 3 minutes of play. Panionios bounced back, but Olympiacos closed the 1st quarter leading 15-23. Panionios again got close to the score, but Vassilis Spanoulis was the one to put his team in charge once again, having 19  points in minutes and 5-5 3pointers. 39-48 was the half-time score.

The second half started with Olympiacos taking the lead to 17 points, but Eric McCollum tried to keep his team close, so after 30 minutes of play the score was 53-65. However Olympiacos did not lose their temper and secured the lead after a consistant 4th quarter. MVP was Spanoulis who scored 26 points, while McCollum scored 19 points.

Panathinaikos- Apollon Patras 81-73

Panathinaikos got a “professional win” against Apollon, and played just as long as they needed to get it. Apollon managed to take the lead after the passage of the 1st quarter (14-17), but Panathinaikos found their way to the basket, scored some easy points and closed the half leading 35-26.

Apollon found the strength to recover after the bad 2nd quarter and got back to the game, cutting the lead to 5 after three quarters, 55-50. However, the home side played as much as they needed, to overcome their opponent’s resistance. Bramos had 15 for the winning team, while Wilson had 16 for Apollon.

#TeamMPWDLSFSADPLast 5 matches
2Olympiakos Piraeus1312011093818+27523WWLWW
4PAOK Saloniki138051043999+4421WWLLL
5KAO Dramas13706963985-2220WLWWW
6AE NEA Kifisia13607888913-2519WLWWW
7A.G.O Rethymno135089611015-5418LLLLL
8Panelefsiniakos AOK13508914966-5218LWLWL
9AO Aiolos Trikallon13508924958-3418LWWLW
11Aris BC13508898948-5018LLWLW
12Apollon Patras13409928968-4017LLLLL
13Ilysiakos Athens13409861952-9117WLWLL
14Ikaros Halkidas1330109191045-12616LLLWL