PAO, Iraklis gain edge

Both volleyball league semifinal series will go on to a fourth game after Panathinaikos and Iraklis secured a 2-1 lead and go into Thursday’s matches against PAOK and Olympiakos respectively as the favorites to qualify for the league final. Champion and cup winner Panathinaikos lost its first home game to PAOK 3-1 last week but recovered with a 3-1 win in Thessaloniki last Friday. Then last night Panathinaikos overpowered PAOK in Athens with an easy 3-0 win (25-18, 25-15, 25-22) that leaves little doubt as to who will advance to the final. Last week Iraklis managed to upset Olympiakos in Piraeus and win 3-2. On top of that, it won the second game of the best-of-five series in Thessaloniki on Friday (3-0) to gain a 2-0 lead. But Olympiakos, although depleted by injuries, played an improved game last night at home to overcome Iraklis 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 26-24, 25-21) and stay in contention for a berth in the final. The fourth match is in Thessaloniki on Thursday.

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