SPORTS

AEK in BCL final, Greens shine in Moscow

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Friday was a big day for Greek basketball as it saw AEK qualify to the final of the 2019-2020 Basketball Champions League and Panathinaikos begin its new campaign in the Euroleague with a road win over Khimki. On Thursday Olympiakos lost at home to Zalgiris Kaunas.

AEK will contest the BCL final on Sunday against Spanish team Burgos at the Olympic Sports Hall in Athens in a bid to reclaim the trophy it had also won in 2018.

After beating Nymburk in the quarterfinal on Thursday (94-82), AEK, the Final-Eight host, faced Zaragoza in the semifinal on Friday and showed it was far superior to its opponent from start to finish, as the final 99-75 score illustrates.

In the Euroleague Panathinaikos triumphed 78-76 at Khimki in the opening week of the 2020-2021 regular season, led by new captain Ioannis Papapetrou in its post-Nick Calathes era.

Relying on their rebounds, the Greeks (with seven Greek players out of the 10 involved in the game) led 24-11, but fell behind their host by up to five points (57-52) before recovering to win a game it had entered as the underdog.

Olympiakos, on the other hand, led for most of its home game against Zalgiris on Thursday, but its defense eventually failed it.

The Lithuanian team came back to snatch victory right at the end as the Reds were not as strong when influential Hassan Martin (12 points) was benched.

Next Friday the two Greek teams in the Euroleague will face each other at Panathinaikos’ home court.

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