VASILISSA Again in Greek Basketball
GREEK BASKETBALL CUP FINAL
|Olympiacos||83 - 88||AEK|
|(23 - 26)
(42 - 45)
(63 - 65)
(83 - 88)
A thrilling Greek Basketball Cup Final in Heraklion has seen AEK capture their first Cup since 2001…
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AEK are Greek Cup Champions for the first time since the 2000/2001 season following a thrilling 88-83 defeat of rivals Olympiacos at the Dyo Aorakia Indoor Hall on Saturday night.
While headlines leading into Saturday’s Cup Final surrounded the mystery of whether or not recent AEK acquisition, Panagiotis Vassilopoulos, could play for the club in the Final, an MVP performance from Manny Harris certainly changed the script as the American’s effort helped AEK capture the title.
Harris notched 17 points to lead all AEK scorers, while teammate Vince hunter, who only recently joined the Enosi, added 15 points on the night.
Vassilis Spanoulis led Olympiacos’ offensive effort with 20 points, and 9 assists, while Nikola Milutinov also had a big offensive night with 17 points and 8 rebounds.
Despite the efforts from Spanoulis and Milutinov, AEK didn’t relinquish an early lead as the Enosi led after each quarter before keeping their composure in the fourth quarter.
AEK extended their lead to eight points on two occasions, but Olympiacos fought back to keep the Enosi in check. Nevertheless, AEK found a way to stay in front and extend their lead yet again to secure their fourth Greek Cup.
AEK’s win comes very much against the odds following a stretch of 27 losses to Olympiacos between 2004 and 2017. A narrow defeat over Olympiacos in the Fall, coupled with Saturday’s win in the Cup, sees AEK with a two-game winning streak over their local rivals in what had previously been a one-sided derby.
The loss is certainly disappointing for Olympiacos, who have now lost back-to-back one-game Finals following last season’s defeat at the hands of Fenerbahce in the EuroLeague. Saturday’s loss also sees Olympiacos’ losing streak in Greek Cup Finals extend to three losses after losing two nail-biters to Panathinaikos following back-to-back triumphs for the Erythrolefki in 2010 and 2011.