Panathinaikos sweep aside PAOK to book Finals ticket

Panathinaikos sweep aside PAOK to book Finals ticket


PAOK 72 - 88 Panathinaikos
(22 - 14)
(43 - 37)
(53 - 59)
(72 - 88)

Panathinaikos are back in the Greek Basket League Finals for the 16th straight season following a semifinals sweep of PAOK…

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Panathinaikos managed to improve to 31-0 on the season in the Greek Basket League with a 3-0 series sweep of PAOK following an 88-72 defeat of PAOK in Thessaloniki on Tuesday night.

After two dominant wins in Athens last week, Panathinaikos made light work of their hosts at the PAOK Sports Arena in the third game of the semifinal series with Nick Calathes leading the Trifylli to victory with a stunning 27-point performance. The Greek international also notched 9 assists as he narrowly missed out on a double-double, but Calathes won’t be too concerned with that as his side will look to defend their title as Greek Champions.

Nikos Pappas added a cool 13 points to help with Panathinaikos’ offensive efforts, while Lukas Lekavicius chipped in with 12 points as Panathinaikos flexed their offensive strength to cruise to yet another Basket League Finals.

Phil Goss scored 15 points to lead PAOK scorers on the night while teammate Darnell Jackson added 14 points, but the Dikefale tou Vorra failed to slowdown Panathinaikos at both ends of the court en route to a semifinal exit.

PAOK started brightly and eventually held a lead at the end of the first quarter as Ilias Papatheodorou’s men carved a 22-14 advantage after the first frame. Despite a pushback from Panathinaikos in the second quarter, PAOK still held a six-point lead heading into halftime as the home side held a 43-37 advantage heading into the second half.

Despite all their good work in the first half, PAOK absolutely crumbled in the second half as the Dikefale tou Vorra put up a dismal 10 points to allow Panathinaikos to take control of the control. A 22-10 run in favour of the visiting Trifylli stunned the crowd at the PAOK Sports Arena as Panathinaikos flipped the script to take a six-point lead of their own at 59-53.

A further convincing display from the Trifylli compounded problems for PAOK as the home side faced the inevitable situation of a semifinal exit as Panathinaikos put the finishing touches on a win on the night and a sweep of the series.

Panathinaikos will now look to defend their title as Greek Champions when the face the arch-rivals, Olympiacos, who swept Promitheas in the other smei-final series.

by Peter Katsiris
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