Panathinaikos crashed out of the Greek Cup on Sunday as last year’s league finalist Promitheas Patras triumphed over the holder in the knockout quarterfinal in Patra, while second-tier Diagoras Aigaleo dumped PAOK out.
Promitheas, coached by flamboyant but efficient Makis Yiatras, is already a force to be reckoned with in the Eurocup. On Sunday it produced the biggest victory in its history to date, defeating Euroleague challenger Panathinaikos 81-79 to reach the Cup’s semifinals.
The host in Patra led by up to 15 points (44-29), as tired Panathinaikos also lost its best shooting guard, Jimmer Fredette from the first quarter due to a leg injury. The Greens fought back, the closed the distance and equalized (73-73) and it all boiled down to the last shot, that Panathinaikos’s DeShaun Thomas missed.
This means that after decades there will be a cup final in February without Panathinaikos or Olympiakos, the clubs that have dominated the domestic game since the mid-1990s.
It also means Panathinaikos coach Argyris Pedoulakis is in hot water, and some observers link the club’s apparent disappointment with the Greek coach with the arrival in Athens of legendary Rick Pitino to coach the Greek national team next summer. Pitino coached Panathinaikos from December 2018 to June 2019.
Diagoras Dryopideon Aigaleo is a new arrival in Greek basketball, and in only its second season in the A2 division it has managed to reach the semifinals of the Greek Cup, courtesy of an emphatic 81-66 home win over PAOK, last year’s finalist. On its way to next month’s semis the team coached by Nasos Houbavlis has also eliminated two more Basket League teams, i.e. Panionios and Larissa.
AEK and Peristeri have also made the last four of the tournament. AEK saw off visiting Rethymno 71-61 and Peristeri defeated Ifaistos Limnou 57-51 at home.