SPORTS

Panathinaikos downs Olympiakos, sets up final with Aris

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Panathinaikos and Aris will contest the 2017 Greek Cup Final on February 19, as the Greens scored their first win over Olympiakos this season after three defeats – and away from home too – while Aris overcame AEK in Thessaloniki with a last-gasp effort.

Panathinaikos will bid for a sixth consecutive Cup next month after downing host Olympiakos 77-67 on Monday at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in the knock-out semifinal, thanks to an impressive scoring rate in the second half and the excellent performances by KC Rivers (27 points) and Kenny Gabriel (14 points).

Olympiakos had Vassilis Spanoulis commit too many turnovers upon his return from injury and only Vangelis Mantzaris (16 points) did try to keep the Reds in the game, that saw the Piraeus team suffer its first domestic loss this season.

AEK pushed Aris all the way at the Nick Galis Hall in Thessaloniki on Saturday, but a buzzer-beating shot by Will Cummings gave the hosts victory by just one point (77-76).

The lead kept changing hands in a gripping game that had AEK’s Michael Dixon as its top scorer (23 points) and Aris’s Cummings (20 points) as the hero at the end.

The venue to host February’s final, the 13th consecutive for Panathinaikos, has not yet been decided by the federation.

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