AEK won its fourth Greek Basketball Cup on Saturday upsetting favorite Olympiakos at Iraklio with an 88-83 triumph in the final, having also eliminated champion Panathinaikos in the semis.
The first Cup trophy for AEK since 2001 came thanks to both a remarkable performance by its players and the subdued showing by Olympiakos, that had major problems in defense.
The Yellows led for most of the game, stretching their lead to as much as eight points (36-28 and 41-33), and every time Olympiakos closed the gap (45-42 at half-time) AEK managed to pull away again.
Manny Harris, the final’s Most Valuable Player, scored crucial points at the end to keep the Reds at bay and hand AEK an unexpected trophy in the year that marks the 50th anniversary of its European Cup Winners’ Cup triumph in 1968, the first continental trophy for a Greek club ever.
Harris scored 17 points and Vins Hunter added another 15 for AEK. Vassilis Spanoulis made 20 and Nikola Milutinov 17, but they were not enough for Olympiakos that continues to suffer this season.
The game took place in perfectly safe conditions, as the majority of tickets were distributed to local schoolchildren aged between 11 and 15 years.
However before the final there were clashes reported in Iraklio city center between fans of the two clubs. It followed a tussle on Friday evening at the port of Piraeus, as AEK fans were about to board a ferry to Crete.