Iraklis and Olympiakos have got the upper hand in the league semifinals after Game 1 of the two best-of-three series on April 6.
Iraklis, who finished the league’s regular season on top, conceded the first set in just 20 minutes with a 25-15 score, and when it fell 2-1 down, taking the second 25-17 and losing the third 25-22, it outplayed PAOK in the last couple of sets.
In the fourth set Iraklis turned a 9-6 deficit to a 12-9 lead, to win the set 25-20, and took the tie-break 15-10 when it scored six unanswered points from 8-7 to 14-7.
The second game is on April 9 at PAOK’s home court.
In the other semifinal Panathinaikos took the first couple of sets, just as it had done four days earlier for the regular season, to lead 2-0 at Rendi (27-25, 25-21) after appearing stronger at the end of each set.
However, led by Cuban star Rolando Despaigne, Olympiakos fought back to take the third set 25-15, the fourth 25-19 and concluded its victory with a 15-12 score at the tie-break.
Game 2 is on April 9 at Glyfada, Panathinaikos’s home court.