Aris edge AEK in Greek Basket League nail-biter

Aris edge AEK in Greek Basket League nail-biter


Aris 64 - 62 AEK
(10 - 15)
(17 - 19)
(21 - 13)
(16 - 15)

Aris notched their first win of the Greek Basketball League season with a nail-biting defeat of AEK at Alexandreiou.

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A second half comeback helped Aris notch their first win of the young Greek Basketball League season as the Thessaloniki side dispatched AEK 64-62 in a thrilling contest at Alexandreiou.
Keith Benson finished a rebound shy of a double-double as the American led Aris with 12 points in what turned out to be a low-scoring contest in Thessaloniki. AEK’s Michael Green led all-scorers on the night, however, with 17 points but the Enosi slumped to their second defeat of the week after a midweek loss to Movistar Estudiantes in the FIBA Basketball Champions League.
Despite the loss midweek, it was AEK who started the game with a better rhythm as the Athenian side set the pace early. A solid defensive effort in the first quarter saw AEK emerge with a 15-10 lead, only to add to that advantage by halftime as AEK held on for a 34-27 lead.
With Aris under the threat of opening the season with an 0-2 record for the first time since the 2012/2013 season, Panagiotis Giannakis inspired his team to turn the result in the second half.
Aris pulled level midway through the third quarter at 35-35, before pulling ahead at 37-35 on the heels of a 10-1 run to open the second half. Aris would just barely hold for a 48-47 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
AEK would keep their hosts in check throughout the final frame, but it was Aris who remained in front throughout the fourth quarter. Aris were, however, under serious threat in the dying moments as the Autokratoras’ five-point advantage came under fire thanks to a late Dusan Sakota three-pointer.
Poor execution by Aris, would then give AEK the last possession in the game. Green found himself in space to drive to an uncontested Aris basket, but instead the American decided to pass to Kelsey Barlow whose three-pointer was no good as clock ran down.
The loss will certainly leave a bitter taste for AEK, especially after Green’s blunder late on. Aris, meanwhile, have momentum in their sails again as a poor start to the season now looks to be a distant memory.
Aris will look to build on that momentum midweek in the Champions League against CEZ Nymburk in the Czech Republic. AEK also return to action in the Champions League midweek, and the Athenians will look to end a mini losing streak with a win against Umana Reyer Venezia in Italy.


by Peter Katsiris
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