Panathinaikos won its 15th Greek Cup and its 55th trophy in its basketball history on Sunday dismantling hapless Aris 90-53 in the final at Iraklio, after beating Olympiakos in the semifinal on December.
Aris produced a mighty challenge for Panathinaikos in the first half, leading by up to five points (38-33), for a 40-40 half-time score.
Missing injured James Gist, the Greens were frustrated at times while the young players of Aris fought hard in the first 20 minutes as they believed in the upset, inspired by their experienced coach Milan Minic.
However the second half was completely different. Panathinaikos hoopsters came out of their locker room with an amazing energy, and made the final look like men against boys, as the partial score of the latter part of the game was 50-13.
Ramel Curry, scorer of 17 points in 21 minutes, was voted the Most Valuable Player of the final.
This is therefore the 19th consecutive season with at least one trophy for the Greens, who are also three points clear at the top of the league.
“This was a very good start, it is the first title of the season,” warned Panathinaikos captain Dimitris Diamantidis.
The final was also beautiful in the sense that the two sets of fans were well-behaved at the “Dyo Aorakia” sports hall in the Cretan capital, following six years when the final took place in a war atmosphere between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos in Athens.