Olympiakos edges PAO in semifinal
Olympiakos reached the final of the Greek Cup after seeing off archrival Panathinaikos 3-2 at home on March 2.
The knock-out semifinal at Rendi was particularly balanced and took two-and-a-half hours to be decided. The result was sealed via a Rolando Despaigne ace at the end of the tie-break.
The match was played in front of pupils and children from the Reds’ academies, in an atmosphere that was very warm but not hostile.
Holders Panathinaikos took the first set 25-20, but Olympiakos came back to dominate the game in the next couple of sets (25-21, 25-22).
That was when the flow of the game changed once again, with Panathinaikos making the most of serves by Sakis Psarras, and the Greek setter’s excellent cooperation with opposite Boyan Yordanov taking the fourth set 25-17 and leading the match to a fifth set.
The Greens thought they had a victory in their hands when they led 9-5 and 11-8 in the tie-break, but a number of great serves by Despaigne turned things around, leading Olympiakos to win with its fifth match-point.
The other semifinal is taking place on March 3 between PAOK and Iraklis.