AEK stand firm in Strasbourg to clinch Final Four berth

AEK stand firm in Strasbourg to clinch Final Four berth


Strasbourg 83 - 83 AEK
(16 - 20)
(35 - 37)
(59 - 56)
(83 - 83)

AEK are through the Final Four of the FIBA Basketball Champions League after making their advantage count on Wednesday night…

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Greece will be represented in the Final Four of the FIBA Champions League next month after AEK managed to stand firm in Wednesday night’s clash with SIG Strasbourg as both sides drew 83-83 at the Rhenus Sport arena in Strasbourg.
Nursing a nine-point lead heading into the second leg, AEK made their advantage stick in the return leg as the Enosi clinched their first trip to the Final Four on the heels of a 161-152 aggregate win.
Kevin Punter was again a star-performer for AEK as the American led all AEK scorers on the night with 18 points, while Mike Green and Dusan Sakota each contributed with 12 points.
Strasbourg, who had defeated AEK twice in the group stage, needed to match or overturn the nine-point gap within regulation time in order to save their campaign. The French side couldn’t get any degree of separation on the scoreboard, despite holding a narrow lead after three quarters.
Louis Labeyrie notched 19 points to lead Strasbourg’s efforts, while Miro Bilan and Dee Bost both tallied 16 points for the French side.
AEK stretched their aggregate lead in the first quarter as the Athenians ran out to a 20-16 lead on the night in the first quarter.
Strasbourg fought back in the second frame and began to carve into AEK’s lead on the evening, but the French side still trailed on the night – and in turn the tie – at halftime (37-35).
Strasbourg inched closer in the third quarter as the French side went on a 24-19 run in the frame to take a 59-56 lead on the night.
AEK’s effort in the fourth quarter would ensure Strasbourg’s lead wouldn’t stand as the Athenians erased the deficit on the night with a 27-24 run in the final frame to tie the game at 83-83 by the final buzzer.
The result secures AEK’s passage to the semi-finals of a European competition since the club reached the semifinals of the EuroLeague in 2000/2001.
AEK will return to domestic action for the interim before the club return to Champions League duties when the Final Four takes place in early May.


by Peter Katsiris
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