AEK handed reality check in Athens derby loss to Panathinaikos
GREEK BASKET LEAGUE - ROUND 24
|Panathinaikos||115 - 85||AEK|
|(30 - 19)
(51 - 38)
(83 - 59)
(115 - 85)
AEK were handed a rude awakening in the Athens Derby clash against Panathinaikos at the OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall on Friday night…
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Five days on from their triumph in the Basketball Champions League, AEK returned to Greek Basket League action and were swiftly handed a reality check by Panathinaikos in a 115-85 defeat to their OAKA co-tenants.
Still riding the high of their Champions League glory last weekend, AEK’s post-Champions League honeymoon came to a devastating end as Panathinaikos strolled to an emphatic derby win.
The Trifylli, led by Lukas Lekavicius’ 17 points, notched their fifth-highest points total in domestic play to extend their winning streak to 25 consecutive games. Matt Lojeski was also immense for Panathinaikos as he pitched in with 15 points in the win – the American on-form with 6/6 shooting from two-point range.
Dusan Sakota led AEK with 15 points on the night, but the Greek international couldn’t inspire his teammates to the type of triumph they pulled-off last weekend in the Basketball Champions League Final Four.
Panathinaikos asserted their authority early on with a 30-19 run in the first quarter as Xavi Pascual’s men showed their efficiency at both ends of the court.
After a rusty first quarter, AEK showed their resilience in the second frame though the Enosi couldn’t cut into the Panathinaikos lead which stood at 51-38 at halftime.
Panathinaikos’ dominant offense returned to the forefront in the third quarter with another overwhelming stretch of play putting the game out of reach as the Trifylli now nursed a commanding 24-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Yet another dominant showing in the fourth quarter rounded-out Panathinaikos’ dominant derby win as the Trifylli notched a 30+ point win for the second consecutive week.
The win preserves Panathinaikos’ unbeaten start to the season, which can be solidified on Sunday when the Trifylli closeout their regular season schedule on the road against Lavrio.
AEK, meanwhile, failed to secure a hold of fifth place in the league standings and thus remain deadlocked with Lavrio, while the loss also meant that AEK’s hopes of home advantage in the playoffs have been dashed.
The Enosi will hope to finish the regular season on a positive note when the Athenians host Kymis at the OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall in their regular season finale – which could see AEK’s spot in next season’s Basketball Champions League potentially at risk with another loss on Sunday.