Reds and Greens set up another final of ‘eternal rivals’

European champion Olympiakos and Greek Cup winner Panathinaikos will once again fight it out for the Greek league title in a best-of-five series starting this Friday, after sweeping their semifinal opponents with 3-0 scores.

Monday saw the two “eternal rivals” win away from home, as Olympiakos defeated AGO Rethymnou 80-67 on Crete and Panathinaikos edged out Panionios 64-62 at Nea Smyrni.

For Olympiakos it was an easier game than expected, as the Cretan side had problems in containing the Reds’ shooting and only managed once to get to within four points of its famous opponent in the third period (47-43).

With Vassilis Spanoulis scoring 15 points, distributing 10 assists and collecting five rebounds, Olympiakos eased to a 13-point win in the end, while Rethymno will be preparing for its first clash with Panionios on Thursday, vying for the third spot.

That is so because Panionios came close to upsetting Panathinaikos at Nea Smyrni, but it failed to complete its impressive comeback from 12 points down (59-47). In its last attack it wasted its time and Vladimir Jankovic only tried a shot after the buzzer.

Panionios actually led at the start by six (18-12), but the introduction of Sofoklis Schortsanitis helped Panathinaikos recover and lead by four through 10 unanswered points (22-18).

The Greens led 36-35 at half-time and pulled away, before Nikos Pappas scored eight consecutive points for Panionios to reduce the distance to just two in the end.

The first game of the final series is scheduled for Friday evening at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus.