AEK Larnaca is back at the top of Basketball in Cyprus after defeating Keravnos Strovolou 69-64 in game 3 of the finals series. With this success, AEK Larnaca swept the finals run 3-0 to wrap a dominant title victory.
This crown was interesting for several reasons. Firstly, Keravnos Strovolou was the reigning champion and arguably defended its crown poorly. Last season the club defeated AEK, so this was revenge for the Larnaca outfit. It also meant AEK returned to the title after missing out last year. Still, the club has now won three of the last four and four of the last six Cypriot league titles… in other words, Larnaca is the dominant force currently in the country.
Saying that, the organization still has a long way to go to catch AEL Limmassol’s record 13 titles. Either way, this has been an impressive season for AEK Larnaca. It is worth remembering the team has been under the command of a rookie head coach in Dimitris Kukuris, but the tactician has taken the title at first attempt.
In game 3 of the finals series, Keravnos fought hard to stay alive in the series, carving a 13-16 advantage through the first quarter. The hosts improved in the second frame, running to 24-16, reversing the deficit to lead 37-32 through halftime. It remains close in the third act as the visitors won the period 13-15 to make it 50-47 through thirty minutes. Early in the fourth, AEK moved 10 points ahead and managed to control the remainder of the game to secure the win.
Shane Gibson has so often lead AEK on the floor this season and he turned in a MVP performance here. The American finished with 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. Tyreek Duren was good for 13 points and 6 boards in the win. Devin Searcy contributed a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds, while also adding 4 assists.
Mohamed Abukar was arguably the star of the show, pacing Keravnos with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Terell Parks offered a double-double of 11 points and 10 boards to the losing effort.