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Panathinaikos on top of Final Four!

02 May 2009 / 11:05:27  GRReporter
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Panathinaikos defeated Olympiakos with the breath taking score of 84:82 in a dramatic game of the second Final Four semifinal, which took place in Berlin last night. The clovers registered their sixth participation on a final in the history of the Euroleague. Tomorrow, they will play for the “crown” against CSKA-Moscow, again in the German capital, and on the small semifinal, Olympiakos will try to defeat Barcelona. Obradovich and Yanakis’ basketball players offered a dynamic, close-run and interesting game – they fought, used the mistakes of the opposing team, took turns in leading the score and finally, independently of who won, they showed that the Greek Derby is of world heights.

This was one of those games, which you remember for years ahead. After a very strong play for both teams, the victory reached the better ones. The games between the two Athenian teams have always been dramatic, because of the rivalry between the two is very well known. Finally, the green ones were a bit luckier and at moments decisive, which helped them win. In front of the exalted fans, Panathinaikos reached the final in Berlin after the great performance of Nikola Pekovich, Mike Batist and Sharounas Yasikevichous.

We also need to give it up for the fans of the team, because they added to the great atmosphere. Long before the game, the German police and many European media were occupied by the Greek fans. There were many dark predictions of what the fans might do and even a scenario was planned that both Greek teams will play under police siege. Fortunately the prognoses were wrong and both teams played one of the best semifinals in the Euroleage since its beginning.

The game can be explained in one sentence – excellent play of two exceptional teams with a winner being the Greek basketball. The score speaks for itself of how close the game was at all times: 21-27, 41-43, 63-66, 82-84. The most distinguished Olympiakos players were Lin Grir, who scored 18 points and Nikola Bouitzis with 14 points. Two of the best players on the winners’ side were Nikola Pekovich with 20 points and Batist with 19 points.

After the game Jelko Obradovich commented: “Even before the game I said that this will be an exceptional meeting between two teams. I really do believe that this is a special game, which can be enjoyed by anyone. I think that everybody who loved basketball, had fun. You have to understand that between us, coached and players, everything is fair. I am happy about this. The game was solved by the details. Olympiakos’ attack did not stand a chance and we were lucky that Pekovich scored the last points” – concludes the Serb, who is about to win his seventh Eurotitle.

On the press conference after the game, Jelko Obradovich called his players “heroes.” “We did not come to Berlin to defeat Olympiakos. We came to win the title,” said Panathinaikos’ coach. “It was a very strong and beautiful game. We tried to control the game and to be focused. We fought for the victory but some details and the lack of concentration during key moments cost us the final,” said the Olympiakos coach Panayotis Yanakis.

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