Saturday, June 15, 2024

Panathinaikos BC Crowned New Champions of Greece

Panathinaikos BC has returned to the pinnacle of Greek basketball, clinching the championship title after a dramatic 3-2 series victory over Olympiacos. The "Greens" completed their comeback in the finals with a thrilling 87-82 win, marking their first championship in three years.

Series Recap

The championship series between Panathinaikos AKTOR and Olympiacos was fiercely contested:
Game 1: Panathinaikos - Olympiacos 84-89
Game 2: Olympiacos - Panathinaikos 92-86
Game 3: Panathinaikos - Olympiacos 83-76
Game 4: Olympiacos - Panathinaikos 85-88
Game 5: Panathinaikos - Olympiacos 87-82

Game 5 Recap

In a fiercely contested final, Panathinaikos AKTOR emerged victorious with Kostas Sloukas leading the charge, scoring 29 points (25 in the first half). Supported by Grant, Juancho, and Lessort, Sloukas propelled the team from a 0-2 series deficit to a 3-2 triumph, securing the championship.

Olympiacos, relinquishing their crown after two consecutive titles, fought valiantly with standout performances from Milutinov, Peters, and Papanikolaou. However, critical errors in the closing moments, including a time violation with 7.1 seconds remaining, thwarted their comeback efforts.

Olympiacos started strong with an 11-0 run, leading 13-2 and extending to 15-4 within the first four minutes. Panathinaikos responded by focusing their offense on Lessort, narrowing the gap before Sloukas took over. In just 12 minutes of play in the first half, Sloukas scored 25 points, helping Panathinaikos to a 48-39 halftime lead after building an 11-point advantage (48-37).

The game's dynamics shifted as the teams returned from halftime. Olympiacos, led by Milutinov and Papanikolaou, went on a 13-2 run, tying the game at 50-50 by the 24th minute. Despite finding offensive solutions through Grant, Panathinaikos struggled to contain Milutinov near the basket. The hosts regained the lead, 65-64, by the end of the third quarter and extended their run to 9-0, pulling ahead 70-64 early in the fourth quarter.

Sloukas and Nunn, despite the latter losing three teeth from a hit, contributed to a 5-0 run, pushing Panathinaikos to a 75-66 lead by the 35th minute. Olympiacos stayed in the game thanks to a three-pointer by Williams-Goss, reducing the difference to 75-69. Despite their poor free-throw shooting, Panathinaikos maintained a safe lead, 79-72, by the 38th minute. Peters and Papanikolaou hit crucial three-pointers, bringing Olympiacos within striking distance at 81-78 with 1:25 remaining. McKissic narrowed the gap to one point (81-80) a minute before the end.

With 34 seconds left, Nunn missed a three-pointer, and Williams-Goss failed to score, allowing Juancho to grab a crucial rebound and draw a foul. Mitoglou, stepping in for the injured Juancho, hit two free throws, making it 83-80 with 11.7 seconds left. Williams-Goss responded with two free throws, reducing the gap to 83-82 with 7.8 seconds remaining. Nunn then hit two crucial free throws, making it 85-82. Olympiacos committed a 5-second violation on the inbound pass, giving possession back to Panathinaikos. Grigonis sealed the victory with two more free throws, concluding the game at 87-82.

Key Players and Stats


Panathinaikos BC (Coach: Ergin Ataman):

Kostas Sloukas: 29 points (6/9 two-pointers, 4/5 three-pointers, 5/6 free throws, 2 rebounds)
Grant: 15 points (5/5 two-pointers, 1/3 three-pointers, 2/3 free throws, 2 rebounds, 2 assists)
Nunn: 13 points (3/7 two-pointers, 1/10 three-pointers, 4/4 free throws, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks)
Lessort: 11 points (4/6 two-pointers, 3/5 free throws, 5 rebounds)
Mitoglou: 8 points (2/3 two-pointers, 4/4 free throws, 9 rebounds)
Hernangomez: 8 points (2/2 two-pointers, 1/3 three-pointers, 1/2 free throws, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals)

Olympiacos (Coach: Giorgos Bartzokas):

Papanikolaou: 18 points (2/3 two-pointers, 4/7 three-pointers, 2/2 free throws)
Peters: 21 points (3/7 two-pointers, 4/7 three-pointers, 3/4 free throws)
Milutinov: 17 points (8/11 two-pointers, 1/3 free throws, 12 rebounds)
Williams-Goss: 12 points (3/7 two-pointers, 1/2 three-pointers, 3/3 free throws, 2 rebounds, 2 assists)


Team Statistics

Panathinaikos AKTOR:

Two-pointers: 22/35
Three-pointers: 7/25
Free throws: 22/28
Rebounds: 34 (24 defensive, 10 offensive)
Assists: 11
Steals: 5
Blocks: 4
Turnovers: 9
Fouls: 19

Olympiacos BC:

Two-pointers: 20/36
Three-pointers: 10/23
Free throws: 12/18
Rebounds: 30 (23 defensive, 7 offensive)
Assists: 23
Steals: 6
Blocks: 2
Turnovers: 11
Fouls: 26

Quarter Scores

1st Quarter: 20-22
2nd Quarter: 48-39
3rd Quarter: 65-64
4th Quarter: 87-82

Panathinaikos AKTOR's victory marks a triumphant return to dominance in Greek basketball, capturing the Basket League title after a thrilling and hard-fought series.

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