Olympiakos and Panathinaikos will once again contest the Basket League finals, starting on Thursday, May 19, but they made their way to the best-of-five title series in very different ways.
With five wins in as many games the Reds overcame the resistance of Rethymno (in the quarterfinals) and of AEK (in the semis), winning the two series 2-0 and 3-0 respectively in quite an emphatic fashion.
Panathinaikos saw Kolossos Rhodes off with a 2-0 score in the quarterfinals, but had a very hard time eliminating Aris, eventually doing it with a 3-2 score.
The Greens won the first couple of games in Athens 85-79 and 74-60, but Aris bounced back in Games 3 and 4 in Thessaloniki winning 77-68 and 56-50 to tie the series 2-2. It then went down to a fifth game in Athens on Saturday, with Panathinaikos winning quite convincingly 84-68.
The Panathinaikos camp was also hurt by the disciplinary incident concerning three of its players, who chose to spend the night out in a night club after the defeat in Game 3, resulting in their exclusion by coach Argyris Pedoulakis from Game 4.
After the events of the semifinals, and given the fact that Olympiakos has home advantage for the finals, it appears the Reds are the favorites for retaining their Greek crown.
Game 1 of the finals is at Piraeus’s Peace and Friendship Stadium on Thursday.
Aris and AEK will clash for the third place, also in a best-of-five series.