Greek derby in Athens: Peristeri hosting AEK

The derby of Round 17 of A1 Greek League will take place in Athens, were Peristeri receive the visit of AEK, in a battle between the third and second place. In their last meeting, Peristeri came out victorious after an OT thriller with a shot in the last seconds. The final score was 90-91 especially thanks to Steven Gray, who finished the game with 26 points and 4 rebounds.

In their last game, Peristeri also played at home against Mornar Bar in BCL. They managed to get the win 72-67, but the visitors came here without three important players (Pullen, Waller and Lukovic). Peristeri should have won this game by big margin looking at the rotation of both teams, but they lose their focus in the third quarter after a 41-29 lead at the halftime. The main contributors for the home team were: Yanick Moreira (16 points and 6 rebounds), Steven Gray (11 points and 4 assists) and Panagiotis Vasilopoulos (11 points and 3 rebounds). In this game against AEK, there is no room to relax, they need to be focussed the entire game if they want to get the win here. Also, they need to rotate their players very well because, in the next round of BCL, they meet Brose Bamberg in a very important match and with a loss, their chances to go further in the competition will be very small.

For AEK Athens everything is good in A1 League, winning last 11 games in a row. But, in BCL they lost last 3 games in a row and their 3rd position is now threatened by Rasta Vechta, whom they meet next week and Bandirma. They have the edge, but in their last games were simply unrecognizable losing to Antwerp Giants, Bandirma and in the last game, in Spain against San Pablo Burgos. In this game, Nikolaos Zisis made the return to his first professional basketball club. Burgos started the game very well and at halftime, they had a comfortable 54-34 lead. They defended that margin until the last seconds, with AEK being unable to make a comeback in the second half. The main contributors for AEK were: Nikolaos Zisis (16 points and 4 assists), Jerai Grant (15 points and 3 rebounds) and Jonas Maciulis (11 points and 5 rebounds). The biggest news of the team is that Keith Langford got injured in this game and now will miss one month.

The absence of Langford is a huge blow for AEK because he’s the leading scorer of the team and with Sant-Roos departed to CSKA Moscow, they are without best two scorers of the team for this encounter. Maybe the other players will come and replaces those two successfully, but it will be very hard against Peristeri, who also had big expectations from this season.

Photo: Basketball Champions League

Bogdan Vasile Tirc