Vital away wins keep AEK and Aris in Champions League hunt
FIBA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - GAMEDAY 8
|Date||Home Team||Score||Away Team|
|12-Dec-17||Estudiantes||78 - 85||AEK|
|12-Dec-17||Zielona Gora||72 - 82||Aris|
|13-Dec-17||PAOK||63 - 83||Ludwigsburg|
AEK and Aris both notched wins away from home to keep their bids to reach the Round of 16 alive…
AEK and Aris both got a big boost for their bids to reach the FIBA Basketball Champions League Round of 16 after both sides managed vital wins away from home on Gameday 8. Meanwhile, PAOK hit rock-bottom with their most recent loss this week.
After a shock defeat of Olympiacos in the Greek Basket League on Sunday, AEK followed-up their derby win with an 85-78 upset of Movistar Estudiantes in Spain. Despite a slow start which saw AEK fall behind by seven points (41-34) by halftime, the Enosi fought back in the second half to turn the tables on the Spanish side. Dusan Sakota led AEK scorers with 20 points, while Manny Harris nearly notched a double-double with 19 points and 9 rebounds as Dragan Sakota improved to 2-0 since taking over the AEK bench last week. AEK, now 4-4 on the season in the FIBA Champions League, pulled level with Estudiantes who were led by Sylven Landesberg and Alec Brown who each scored 16 points.
In Poland, Aris fought-off a pesky Stelmet Zielona Gora as the Thessaloniki outfit battled to an 80-72 over the Polish Champions. Leading for most of the game, Aris were resilient in the second half to improve to 4-4 in the group stage. Eleftherios Bochoridis led Aris with 22 points, while Vladimir Dragicevic was the most potent scorer for Zielona Gora with 16 points. The win sees Aris pull level with Sidigas Avellino for the final Round of 16 berth in Group D with six group fixtures still remaining.
While AEK and Aris celebrated wins, PAOK’s hopes of reaching the Round of 16 took another blow as the Dikefale tou Vorra were left humbled by an 83-63 defeat at the hands of MHP Riesen Lidwigsburg. PAOK, remarkably, had the lead at halftime (48-47); however, a horrible second half performance in which the Thessaloniki club scored just 15 points. Thomas Walkup scored 18 points as the German side dominated in the second half at both ends of the court to improve to 7-1 and sole possession of top spot in Group B. PAOK, meanwhile, hit rock-bottom with the loss as Ilias Papatheodorou’s men now sit at the foot of the group table and well off the pace required to reach the Round of 16.