PAOK keep hopes alive as Aris and AEK are handed reality checks

PAOK keep hopes alive as Aris and AEK are handed reality checks


Date Home Team Score Away Team
9-Jan-17 PAOK 79 - 61 Capo d'Orlando
9-Jan-17 Nanterre 91 - 63 Aris
10-Jan-17 Banvit 78 - 71 AEK

PAOK’s hopes of reaching the Round of 16 in the FIBA Basketball Champions League got a massive boost but the same can’t be said for the likes of Aris and AEK…

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A key victory has PAOK back on track to contest for a spot in the Round of 16 in the FIBA Basketball Champions League, but defeats for AEK and Aris has made their paths to the knockout round much more difficult.

Theodoros Zaras and Linos Chrysikopoulos scored 13 points each to guide PAOK to a convincing 79-61 defeat of Capo d’Orlando at the PAOK Sports Arena on Tuesday night. Despite trailing after the opening frame, back-to-back dominant runs by PAOK in the second and third quarters put PAOK back on track for a knockout round berth in Group B. Winners of two straight, PAOK opened up some space between them and the bottom sides in the group for the final berth in the FIBA Europe Cup while siting just one point back for fourth place in the group and the final spot in the FIBA Champions League Round of 16.

In Group C on Thursday, AEK’s 78-71 defeat to Aegean rivals Banvit saw the Athenian side fall out of the placement for the Round of 16. Andy Rautins led Banvit with 23 points, including 7/8 shooting from three-point range. Chris Harris was once again the main offensive threat for AEK with 15 points, but the Americans efforts couldn’t erase AEK’s slow start to the night.

Aris’ trip to Group D leaders Nanterre didn’t go as planned on Wednesday night when the Thessaloniki outfit were left humbled by their French hosts in a 91-63 defeat. Aris’s road woes in the competition continued on a night the club were poor at both ends of the court. In fact, Aris were outscored by at least 13 points in each of the first three quarters en route to the defeat. Lefteris Bochoridis and Gary Bell Jr. scored 15 points each to lead Aris’ offensive effort, while it was Alade Aminu who led Nanterre’s long list of scorers. The loss, Aris’ second in a row, sees the Autokratoras fall a further point off the pace for the Round of 16.

by Peter Katsiris
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