Olympiacos downs Panathinaikos to open Greek finals

OlympiacosThe finals series of the Greek A1 has arrived and it has brought a familiar fixture as Olympiacos Piraeus and Panathinaikos Athens clash for the league title. The two biggest clubs in Greek Basketball and indeed two of the biggest in Europe are perennial opponents in the championship series. On Sunday the title decider got underway with Olympiacos drawing first blood with a 76-70 win over their great rival Athens.

Panathinaikos started the game in better touch and used their superior hoops in the first quarter to pace to a 10-17 lead through the first break. The Piraeus hosts improved in the second frame and drained 23 points while holding The Greens to 17 points; resulting in a 33-34 lead for the Athens visitors through halftime. The hosts kept their momentum going in the third act as Olympiacos won the stanza 22-16 to finally claim the lead (55-50) after thirty minutes. Panathinaikos was plagued by personal fouls in the final minutes, allowing The Reds to pinch the fourth quarter 21-20 and claim a win in Game 1 of the Greek A1 finals.

Konstantinos Sloukas led the winning effort with 16 points, followed by Bryant Dunston and Matt Lojeski with 13 points each, while Dunston grabbed a double-double with 12 rebounds. Georgios Printezis rounded out the double digit scorers for Olympiacos with 12 points.

Loukas Mavrokefalidis topped the basket charts with 23 points for Panathinaikos, while also taking 7 boards off the glass. Antonis Fostis backed up The Greens effort with 6 points.

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