In Round 9 of Greek League, AEK Athens will meet Promitheas Patras in a very interesting game because both teams are in good shape and have big expectations from this season. AEK has a 7-1 record in last 8 games, while Promitheas has an 8-2 record in last 10 games.
After a tough start of the season, AEK’s started to build chemistry between that long and powerfull roster and the results shows up. Their only defeat came against Vechta in BCL 79-75, because the bench didn’t provide as many points as they wanted to. That problem continued in the game against Lavrio, when, despite a comfortable win 73-60, only six players scored points, with the last scoring only 2 points. Keith Langford was the MVP of the game and the main reason for the win because he finished the game with 33 points and 5 assists in 35 minutes. Charis Giannopoulos (15 points) and Jonas Maciulis (10 points and 5 rebounds) were the other main performers. They need more points from their second unit, because, yeah, they have some experienced players in the starting five, but they can’t play 36 minutes in every game at the highest level. You must rely more on your bench players and their contribution must be at least decent, in order to achieve your goals.
On the other hand, the dream-season for Promitheas continues with only 4 defeats recorded along the way, two against Monaco in Eurocup and against Panathinaikos and Rethymno in the national league. Their strength is the chemistry built around their core of players that are playing together for two or three years now. They added only 4 players in the summer in different positions to complete a good roster. In the last game against Panionios, they easily won 87-76, while using 12 players, with 9 of them with more than 12 minutes on court. That rotation will surely help against AEK today, especially if AEK’s bench players will play the same way. The main contributors in the game were: Langston Hall (23 points), Gerald Robinson (18 points and 4 rebounds) and Dimitrios Agravanis (14 points).
This match is very balanced so it’s very hard to predict who the winners will be. The only difference is that AEK will play in front of their own fans and that may help in the decisive moments of the game. As an extra-motivation, AEK must revenge last season play-offs semifinals defeat, where, in the 5 games of the series, Promitheas won by one point in overtime, in front of AEK’s fans. That’s a result too hard to be forgotten by AEK.
Bogdan Vasile Tirc