In Greek A1 League Round 14 will take place the derby of Greek basketball, now that Olympiacos were relegated to A2. AEK Athens will face Panathinaikos in a very interesting match. Both teams have big expectations from this season and for AEK, to stop PAO’s domination will mean everything, even if it’s very improbable.
For AEK this season is a very good one until now. They are in the first place in BCL group B and on 3rd position in the national league behind Panathinaikos and Promitheas. They are very well prepared and motivated because they are in a 14-1 run in the last 15 matches and aim to continue that run after this game. Their last game took place last year in 28.12.2019 when they smashed Ionikos in a 103-70 victory. The coach used 11 players in the game, giving to his second unit more minutes on the floor to be prepared for the next game and help when needed. The main contributors were: Keith Langford (15 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists), Kendrick Ray (14 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists) and Charis Giannopoulos (13 points and 5 rebounds).
Panathinaikos’s morale is sky-high after huge win recorded in Russia against CSKA Moscow. They managed to get a 106-102 win in overtime after coming back from a 6 points deficit in the final minutes of regular time. They have more assists and more rebounds than their opponents while also forced them to have 13 turnovers during the entire game. In overtime, they remained calm and took advantage better of their free-throws, which gave them the final victory. After that victory, they remained on the 6th place in Euroleague standings, while in A1 they are the leaders. The main contributors for this game were: Konstantinos Mitoglou (25 points, 16 rebounds and 2 steals), Nick Calathes (22 points, 6 rebounds and 17 assists!) and Jimmer Fredette (15 points and 3 rebounds).
This game will be huge because AEK had more time to rest and prepare the game, while Panathinaikos came after a heavy battle and a long trip from Russia. They will be tired and in this heavy game, every day-off will count a lot. AEK has a good and long roster and with a smart strategy, they can have a chance.
Photo: Basketball Champions League
Bogdan Vasile Tirc