By George Georgakopoulos
Panathinaikos and Olympiakos made it two out of two in their semifinal series against PAOK and Panionios respectively on Thursday, in games that mirrored their opening matches of the semis two days earlier.
Just like on Tuesday, Panathinaikos made it 2-0 over PAOK in Game 2 with another six-point victory, this time with an 83-77 score. The Greens once against faced the stiff resistance of their visitors from Thessaloniki who led by up to 12 points during the first half.
However a considerably improved performance in the second half, with plenty of three-pointers and 17 points each by James Gist and Dimitris Diamantidis, allowed Panathinaikos to banish the nightmare of a home loss. Costas Haralambidis was impressive for PAOK, also with 17 points to his name.
The best-of-five series continues on Monday at Thessaloniki. A Panathinaikos victory will send the Greens to the finals.
Similarly, Olympiakos is a win away from clinching its own spot in the A1 finals after another emphatic victory over hapless Panionios at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus.
The Reds won 84-58 having dominated their opponent throughout the match. Showing its top form at the moment, Olympiakos produced some spectacular basketball that once against strangled the Panionios attack while scoring at will. It had small forward Stratos Perperoglou top the scorers’ chart with 16 points.
Game 3 is scheduled for Monday at Nea Smyrni.