Panathinaikos crush Kolossos as Olympiacos avoid Kymis scare
GREEK BASKET LEAGUE PLAYOFFS - QUARTERFINALS (GAME 1)
|Date||Home Team||Score||Away Team|
|16-May-18||Panathinaikos||96 - 65||Kolossos|
|16-May-18||Olympiacos||78 - 75||Kymis|
Two of the heavyweights of the Greek Basket League had two very different experiences on the opening night of the playoffs…
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After clinching an unbeaten campaign with a 26-0 run in the regular season, Panathinaikos continued their winning ways on Wednesday night as the Trifylli dispatched Kolossos 96-65 in game one of their playoff series at the OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall.
Nikos Pappas scored a game-high 16 points in 19 minutes for Panathinaikos while KC Rivers and Lukas Lekavicius added 12 points apiece as the Greek Champions took a 1-0 series lead.
Panathinaikos, who led by a remarkable 41 points at the end of the third quarter, eased up in the fourth quarter as Xavi Pascual afforded his starters some rest ahead of the final buzzer.
Kolossos, who beat Aris on the final day of the regular season to clinch a playoff berth as the eight seed, struggled at both ends of the court including offensively as the Rhodes-based club mustered just 23 points in the first half.
Giorgos Tsalbouris led the visitors with 12 points, while Ramon Harris added a further 11 points and 5 rebounds in a rough night for Kolossos just days after the high-of-the-season in the win over Aris.
Panathinaikos will look to wrap-up the series and progress to the semifinals when they visit Kolossos in Rhodes for game two of the series on Saturday.
Olympiacos survive scare to see-off Kymis
Olympiacos failed to take advantage of a 24-point lead and were nearly made to pay for it as the Piraeus giants survived a scare against Kymis on Wednesday before holding on for a 78-75 win at the Peace and Friendship Stadium.
Despite a hefty lead midway through the second quarter and even a 13-point lead at halftime, Olympiacos let their lead slip against a resilient Kymis side that fought all the way back to tie the game at 72-72 in the dying moments.
Janis Strelnieks’ late three-point play, as well as clutch free-throw shooting from Vassilis Spanoulis, spared Olympiacos’ blushes in game one of the series, though Kymis could have tied the game at the final buzzer had Sotiris Manolopoulos’ three-pointer not missed.
Spanoulis led Olympiacos offensive effort with 18 points, while Thad McFadden was the main force in the Kymis offense with a 21-point, 6-assist effort.
Ioannis Sfairopoulos now has two days to prepare for what should be an even more difficult evening when Olympiacos visit Kymis for game two of the series on Saturday night.