SPORTS

AEK qualifies to FIBA Intercontinental Cup final in Brazil

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

AEK will bid on Sunday to become the third Greek club to win FIBA’s Intercontinental Cup, after beating San Lorenzo from Argentina 86-64 in the tournament’s first semifinal on Friday in Rio de Janeiro.

In Sunday’s final AEK will face the winner of the second semifinal between the Austin Spurs and Flamengo.

This competition, in which there is no participation by Euroleague clubs anymore, is FIBA’s answer to the Club World Cup of FIFA in soccer. Panathinaikos (in 1996) and Olympiakos (in 2013) have already won this trophy once each.

In the 2019 edition of the FIBA Intercontinental Cup participants include AEK, i.e. the winner of FIBA Europe’s major competition, the Champions League, San Lorenzo as the FIBA Americas League champion, Austin Spurs as the winner of the NBA G League, and host club Flamengo.

In Friday’s game AEK proved one class above San Lorenzo, leading it permanently after the seventh minute and responding well to the challenges the Argentines posed at some points of the game.

After AEK secured a 19-point advantage at half time (45-26), the second half proved fairly easy for the Greek team, that enjoyed the support of a few hundreds of its fans who crossed the Atlantic hoping to see their team win its first such trophy.

Delroy James and Dusan Sakota were AEK’s top scorers with 15 points apiece.

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