Greek Basket League round-up (playoff semi-finals)

Opening games of the Greek play-off semifinals, with the two rivals making the first step towards finals. Read the game reviews below:

Panathinaikos- P.A.O.K. 89-83

Everyone was expecting that the “Greens” would face no difficulties against PAOK,  but the away side proved them wrong. Coach Markopoulos’ team got in the game very strong, and with amazing shooting totals, managed to get a lead early on, and after 10 minutes they were in control of the game, 21-31. After that, Panathinaikos tried to turn things around but their opponents with Bogris leading the way, did not allow them to overtake. The two teams got to the locker rooms with the visitors in front 45-49.

After the halftime break, Panathinaikos appeared to have more energy and focus on their defense. PAOK did not lose control of the game and despite the pressure they were under, they kept a 65-66 lead. The Greek Champions needed 8 minutes to get in front during the 4th and great a small lead that was enough to give them the win. However PAOK made clear that the “Greens” will not have an easy job against them. MVP of the game was Maurokefalides who scored 32 points achieving a career high, leading his team to the win.

Olympiacos- Panionios 78-43

Olympiacos showed that he is capable of sweeping Panionios, after beating them easily at the first game of the series. The home team got in front from the first minute and had total control since Panionios appeared weak offensively. After 10 minutes, the score was 21-15. The visitors tried to stay close but they could not find their way to the basket. As a result, the “Reds” applied more pressure on both sides of the court, and ended the half leading 43-29.

Despite their solid first half, Olympiacos did not settle, they kept playing great defense, forcing Panionios to shoot with even lower totals. After 30 minutes it seemed clear that Olympiacos were the winners since the score was 60-35. The away team collapsed totally and gave up on the match, disappointing their fans and coach, scored 14 points during the second half, and gave Olympiacos a win which was easier than expected. Good game for Collins who had 16 points while McCollum had 14.