SPORTS

Olympiakos wins its 12th Greek Cup

Rolando Despaigne led Olympiakos to its 12th Greek Cup on March 19, as the Reds defeated Iraklis 3-1 in the final at the northeastern city of Orestiada.

The Cuban player was excellent for most of the game and caused serious problems to the Iraklis reception through his serves and great attacks (20 out of 30) for a total of 22 points.

Iraklis was ahead 1-0 after winning the first set 25-21, but the Reds improved their game from the start of the second set and Iraklis proved unable to hold on to its lead.

Olympiakos took the second set 25-20 thanks to four unanswered points, from 19-18 to 23-18, through improving its reception after the introduction of Andreas Frangos.

Taking advantage of Iraklis’s poor scoring rate, Olympiakos took the third set 25-21 and completed its win, taking the fourth 25-12 as Iraklis appeared to have given up hope halfway through the last set.

The winning coach, Yiannis Kalmazidis, attributed the Olympiakos victory to the players? passion: ?We managed to beat the favorite tonight because the lads had it in them. They may be relatively inexperienced, but they work very hard every day and deserve congratulations.?

?Olympiakos showed it wanted the trophy more than we did, as after the first set we had no clear thinking,? said Iraklis coach Freddy Brooks.

The final in the city that historically has a great affection for volleyball was marred by clashes between fans of both teams in the city center and just outside the court.

Reports suggested two people were injured and one of them taken to hospital, while police made nine arrests. All this despite each have distributing just 200 invitations to the final.