The Greek title will once again be decided between Panathinaikos and Olympiacos in a true clash of the titans contest. The two juggernauts of Greek and European Basketball are perennial contenders for the Greek title and they will fight it out once more after both clubs emerged from sweeping their semi-final series’ in style.
Olympiacos has bossed Panionios in their semi-final series but The Reds were made to work harder in Game 3 to claim a 90-93 victory after overtime and win the series 3-0. Panathinaikos has found a more regular test in the form of PAOK but The Greens also swept the series 3-0 to book a place in the title decider.
Panionios vs. Olympiacos, 90-93
Olympiacos worked hard on the road to down Panionios in Game 3 after commanding the series at home. The Reds out rebounded their hosts 29-18 and Panionios let a third quarter lead end after conceding 28 personal fouls, letting Olympiacos score 26 points from the charity strip.
The dethroned double Euroleague champs came against a more organized Panionios away from home and the teams were locked at 16 apiece at the first break. In the second frame the game remained very tight, but Panionios outpaced Olympiacos to win the quarter 23-21 to hold a 39-37 halftime lead. The home team was putting up a strong fight in an attempt to stay in the series and after 30 minutes Panionios held a 60-55 lead. A tense fourth frame saw Olympiacos claw into the deficit and finally tie the game to send the contest into overtime (79-79). In the added period the visitors used an 11-14 run to outlast Panionios and win the game and the series.
Vassilis Spanoulis was the best player for Olympiacos once more as he posted 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Georgios Printezis scored 17 points for the winners.
Errick McCollum scored 25 points in a valiant display from Panionios, while Kevin Langford and Landon Milbourne secured 17 points apiece.
PAOK vs. Panathinaikos, 65-72
Panathinaikos swept PAOK to advance to the Finals, but the Athens based giant was once again made to work hard for the win. The teams could not be separated in the opening quarter as they traded scores to tie 16-16 after 10 minutes. In the second stanza the score remained tight as both sets of players cancelled each other out, but Panathinaikos managed to snatch a one point lead at the midway stage (37-38). The third quarter proved the difference between the teams as the visiting teams’ experience shone through and they stole the frame 16-20 to hold a five point lead with just the fourth quarter to come. Despite a gritty effort from PAOK, Panathinaikos won the last period to secure a win and a berth in the title decider.
Dimitris Diamantidis claimed a game high 17 points for Panathinaikos, while Ramel Curry 17 points for the winning team.
D.J. Cooper capped a strong series by taking 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists for PAOK.