Panathinaikos triumphs in volleyball cup

Panathinaikos won the Greek volleyball cup for the second consecutive season, the fifth in the team’s history, with a 3-1 win over EA Patras on Saturday night. The cup triumph secures Panathinaikos a berth in next season’s Champions League. «This was my first title in Greece with Panathinaikos and I am pleased that we have secured our entry to the next Champions League,» said coach Mauro Berruto, whose team is already through to the quarterfinals this season. Panathinaikos lost the cup final’s first set 25-21 but rebounded powerfully to demolish any chance of an upset result. The Athens club went on to win the next three sets 25-16, 25-18 and 25-17. The volleyball cup final win was the first for Panathinaikos in all its sporting divisions this season, the historic Athens club’s centennial year. EA Patras coach Giorgos Christopoulos described the final’s outcome as a fair result. «We believed we could win the cup but lost our concentration after the first set, and the world class of some Panathinaikos players made the difference,» said Christopoulos. «Our aim now is to play in Europe.» Liberman Agamez, Panathinaikos’s top scorer, was voted the final’s most valuable player. Panathinaikos captain Sotiris Pantaleon praised the final’s underdog for its effort, saying that the club had made major progress. «We were surprised at the start, coming from a tough semifinal,» admitted Pantaleon, whose team overcame Iraklis in five sets in the semifinals. «But then, from the second set we played better and we managed to win.»

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