After a very tied first leg, Telekom Baskets Bonn will meet again, this time on home ground, AEK Athens. The former champions didn’t convince too much in the opening battle of the playoffs, having some difficulties to steal the win. Entering in the last stanza, Bonn was leading the game, but the Greeks managed an amazing comeback run. Zizis and co. won the final quarter with 28-15, sealing a 7 points victory (92-85). This is not a huge margin, that the Germans couldn’t erase if they would be able to play the same basketball with which they impressed in the first 3 quarters in Athens.
It’s simply amazing how Telekom Baskets Bonn became game by game one of the best teams of BasketballCL, after starting the season in an oscillating way, being smashed by the Hungarian team from Falco-Szombathely by 30 points. Even if their chances are small to qualify in front of AEK, I expect them to fight a lot for that, defending their home-court.
On the other side, the Greek squad, in spite of having so many experienced players like Nikos Zizis, Keith Langford, Jonas Maciulis, Marcus Slaughter, Mario Chalmers, Dmitris Mavroeidis and so on, they didn’t impress so much this season. That’s why in the first leg against Bonn the young guard Kendrick Ray was their best player, finishing with 27 at the index rate.
Their roster is full of Euroleague’s veterans, but some of them are not so efficient. When they have to face fresh teams, that are practising a wild run and gun game, AEK Athens can have big difficulties to stop them. The experience of the veterans is the good side of the coin, while the age is the other logical side, which is working against them. It remains to see which side will have the last word when they flip the coin.
Photo: Basketball Champions League