California-born Sayeed Pridgett took it upon himself to send Ionikos Nikaias to the Basket League playoffs at the end of overtime against Kolossos Rhodes on Wednesday, and proved successful.
His drive 4.4 seconds from the end of a nail-biter at Nikaia gave Ionikos an 86-85 win, after regulation ended 77-77, and the eighth place in the regular season that ended with a great interest only for the teams that would sneak into the playoffs right at the end.
Aris and Iraklis missed out, finishing ninth and 10th respectively, as they suffered defeats on Wednesday: Aris lost 82-65 at sixth Peristeri and Iraklis succumbed to visiting Promitheas Patras with a 90-85 score.
At the top of the table, Panathinaikos finished off with a 20-2 record beating host AEK in the Athens derby 104-95. The two teams are likely to meet again in the semifinals of the playoffs.
In the day’s other games, Lavrio edged out Larissa 81-75 and finished second, its best ever showing in the Basket League, while PAOK downed relegated Messolonghi 84-69 away.
The final table reads as follows: Panathinaikos 42 points, Lavrio 39, Promitheas 38, AEK 36, PAOK 35, Peristeri 33, Kolossos and Ionikos 30, Aris and Iraklis 29, Larissa 28 and Messolonghi 27.
The pairings of the best-of-three playoff quarterfinals, that begin on May 11, are Panathinaikos vs Ionikos, Lavrio vs Kolossos, Promitheas vs Peristeri and AEK vs PAOK.