Round 21 in the regular season of the Greek A1 ended with a bang yesterday as the league’s top two teams took to the court to do battle with respective opponents. League powerhouse Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus recorded their 20th win in 21 games with an easy home game against the visiting KAO Dramas team. Second-place team Panathinaikos Athens is now 19-3 after downing ASA Koroivos Amaliadas 79-64. Both top clubs are assured of Playoff berths at this point and are merely securing their seeds into the postseason.
Olympiacos vs. KAOD, 72-62
This was a relatively effortless win for the league leaders. They established control of the game as early as the first quarter, 19-14, and built on it in the succeeding frames. Despite KAOD having a 32-24 rebounding advantage over the green shirts, Olympiacos stayed aggressive throughout the game and were rewarded with trips to the free-throw line which they capitalized on, making 22-of-25 charity shots. The fourth and final quarter saw the most scored by both teams throughout the game, but the hosts managed to match the output their guests put forward in an attempt to rally from their deficit.
Matt Lojeski paced Olympiacos with 13 points and quarterbacked their offense with six assists. Oliver Lafayette and Georgios Printezis added 11 and 10 points respectively. Roderick Odom was the top scorer for KAOD with 12 points.
Panathinaikos vs. Koroivos, 79-64
Defense was the theme in Athens for the hosts as they crippled the visiting Koroivos club. The tandem of newly added James Gist and standout domestic player Nikos Papas took care of business on the offensive end, while the team as a whole made sure that Koroivos would not get any easy buckets. Gist ended the game with 13 points and six rebounds. Pappas chimed in with 12 points of his own. Defensive pressure was evident during the game. Panathinaikos collected 10 steals and three blocks. Panathinaikos steadily built up a 10-point advantage after the first half, 39-29. They grew their lead in the third frame. In the fourth quarter, Koroivos made a push, but it was a matter of too little too late and Panathinaikos prevailed at the final whistle.