AEK wasted a glorious chance to make a second consecutive Basketball Champions League Final Four and will have to relinquish its crown after crashing out to Bamberg in the tournament’s quarterfinals on Wednesday.
The Greek team won 69-67 on the night at the Nick Galis Hall in Athens, but this was not enough to overturn its four-point deficit from the first leg in Germany.
The holder was up to 12 points ahead late in the game (63-51), but its complacency in the final quarter and poor distance shooting (3/20 triples) condemned it to a nasty surprise in the end as the German team, that featured former AEK star Nikos Zisis, cover the distance and snatched the ticket to the semifinals.
Playing without injured Jonas Maciulis, AEK was more prolific from the paint, with 42 points against Bamberg’s 28, but let the game slip through its collective fingers to an experienced team that used to play in the Euroleague.
The last-ditch effort to by Giannoulis Larentzakis to take the game to overtime was doomed, and the match ended with a showed of objects hurled by the home fans against the referees.
Vince Hunter scored 19 points for AEK, seconded by Delroy James with 12.