Zaras dagger decides Thessaloniki Derby

Zaras dagger decides Thessaloniki Derby


Aris 65 - 66 PAOK
(13 - 21)
(36 - 37)
(52 - 50)
(65 - 66)

A late dagger from Theodoros Zaras gave PAOK derby honours in their clash with local rivals Aris…

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PAOK have secured bragging rights over Aris after the Dikefale tou Vorra secured a 66-65 win in the latest edition of the Thessaloniki derby in Greek Basket League action at the Nick Galis Hall on Wednesday night.
Theodoros Zaras struck a dagger three-pointer with 4.2 seconds left in the game to put PAOK in front for good on a night when both sides traded runs in a tense Thessaloniki derby.

Giannis Athinaiou led Aris with 18 points on the night, while Ivan Maras enjoyed a big game on the boards for the Autokratoras as he hauled in 10 rebounds.

PAOK’s Vassilis Charalambopoulos led his side in scoring with 16 points, while Zaras only contributed 6 points off the bench -- with each and every point crucial to PAOK’s success on the night.
PAOK started brightly with a 21-13 run to start the game, only for Aris to respond with a healthy run of their won in the second frame as just one point separated the two sides at halftime.
Aris kept their momentum going in the second half as the home side flipped the script in the third quarter to take a two-point lead into the final frame.
While Aris did hold the upper-hand for most of the fourth quarter, PAOK climbed back in front for good after an incredible sequence in the offensive end in the dying moments.
After an initial miss on a three-point attempt, PAOK collected the offensive board and eventually found Zaras waiting to hit what would be the decisive shot much to the dismay of the home crowd.
The win sees PAOK keep their grip on sixth place, but moved within one point of AEK who lost to Panionios over the weekend.
Aris, meanwhile, dropped closer to the relegation zone with the loss and now sit tied with Koroivos on 25 points – one point above relegation candidates Panionios.
PAOK will look to keep their momentum rolling when they face Kolossos in Rhodes on Saturday, while Aris will look to rebound against a tough Promitheas side in Thessaloniki later that same day.


by Peter Katsiris
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