Petrolina AEK Larnakas with Michalis Mihalis Kakiouzis (206-F-76, agency: Interperformances) in its roster is not kidding at all! The ex captain of the Hellenic NT is proving that he still has a lot to give to the sport as in a game which was a do or die for his opponents, the experienced forward was the player that right after two weeks in the island and in the team became the leading figure of the team and drove the Larnakas team in the most crucial victory of the season (until the next one) by beating the team of Etha with 71-61 and bringing his team just one step before the finals, something which was not able to achieve last season, the team of Coach Papadopoulos since he lost 3-2 against the team of Keravnos Strovolou. Michalis Mihalis Kakiouzis was the top scorer and the MVP of the game not only due to his double-double , 19 points and 11 rebounds, but also for his overall performance in the floor and his leading characteristics who drove his team-mates to believe that they can do it and is now the favorite team to play in the finals. It is worth mentioned that AEK Larnakas which was established after the merging of Pezoporikos and EPA Larnakas back in the 1994, has never being able to play in the final stage of the league. About the game now, the home team of Coach Papadopoulos was more determined than his opponents but the early lead of 6-2 became very fast 8-10 with Donte Poole (190-G-89, college: Murray St.) being the man of Etha, but Mihalis Kakiouzis six points brought the home team to by-pass Etha with 17-12. The last 1.30' of the first period belonged to the visiting site as Donte Poole was on fire and his 10 points in this period helped the visitors to end the period with 19-17. The second period though, the first three minutes the two teams forgot the way to score the ball in the net, so after many tries from both teams, 7.09 before the end of the first half, Downey balanced the game and Donte Poole some seconds after gave the lead to Etha (19-21). From then and on the two teams were moving basket by basket and 2.30' before the end of the half the score became 28-27 when Wyatt scored both the shots from the charity line. AEK reacted and succeeded a 6-0 with Subotic being the leading figure, the Serbian reached at that particular time of the game the 8 points in total, while the score became 34-27 before Donte Poole who was the only real thread for AEK, scored both his free throws to reach the 17 points and his team the 29 by the end of the first half. Score became 34-29.
The third period begun exactly as the second period, with both the teams losing all their offences and for 2 minutes no score was registered. Etha found some scoring from Adegboye, but Mihalis Kakiouzis was there and was defending his team. 1.10' before the end of the period, Etha cust the deficit to a single basket (45-43) with Donte Poolereaching the 21 points, but AEK reacted and with Tutt (against his previous team) and Mihalis Kakiouzis closed the period with 49-46 in a real derby.
The 4th period was the time of the players with guts, AEK showed from its early stage that the Larnaka players didn't want to lose the advantage received in Nicosia, so with Iakovos Panteli (187-G-85) in a big three and Mihalis Kakiouzis another one, the score went to 55-48, but Donte Poole was there once more and with his 24th point, cut the deficit once more to 55-51. The amazing "fight" between Mihalis Kakiouzis and Donte Poole continued, but the Greek forward was not alone as the American guard was, so with the assistance of Dixon and Harrison, AEK took a lead of five, 3.57' before the end of the game. Dixon did a turnover and Adegboye dunk for the 61-58 but Iakovos Panteli scored both his free throws while Tutt did the same to reshape the score to 65-58, 1.32' before the end. Donte Poole got tired and missed his second free throw giving the chance to Mihalis Kakiouzis to score his last points, 1.01; before the end, 67-59. The time was too litle for the visitors and it looks like their champion crescent will soon be over after two consecutive seasons as AEK looks stronger with Mihalis Kakiouzis in the roster.
The answer by Coach Skourthopoulos's troops was immidiate against Coach Konstantinides team, and against all odds, the Greek Coach pay-back the Cyprus Coach with the same way, simply by breaking the "hot" home court of Lefkotheo against nearly 2.000 Apoel's fans. This time the Greek Coach was better prepared and the defense against the key player of Apoel was much tougher (Davis only 10 points proves so), plus the fact that there was only Tony Crocker in the injury list since Stokes was ready and played against Apoel, this time.
The home team begun the game a bit more aggressively with Zvonko Buljan (206-F-87, college: TCU) having a bad start against his ex team and APOEL taking the advantage for a fast 4-0 and a 6-2 after a while, Zvonko Buljan found target and with his first three pointer cut the deficit to 6-5. The game from that point and until the end of the first period was proceeding basket to basket and 51 seconds before the end, Bobby Maze (191-PG-86, college: Tennessee) who was amazing, scored his 8th point to give a plus three for the visiting site of Keravnos for the 16-19. Davis offensive rebound and lay-up at the end of the period reshaped the score to 18-19. Those were the first two points for the American guard of Apoel.
Apoel reacted on the second period and with Dante Stiggers (188-PG-82, college: S.Mississippi) in the leading role took a lead of eight points (29-21), 7.14' before the end of the first half. Keravnos reacted and took advantage the three pointless minutes by Apoel to cut the deficit to 29-25, 4.14' before the end. Zachariou's three pointer and immediate technical foul were the elements that took the score to 36-31 for Apoel, 1.10 before the end, but Bobby Maze was there and with a new three pointer the game was once more to the basket, 36-34. Wells and Davis ended the score of the first half to +six for their team, 39-34.
The third period begun with the veteran Aleksandar Damjanovic (206-C/F-73) being furious and with eight personal points brought the score to the absolute balance (42-42) while Bobby Maze and Zvonko Buljan gave a +4 for the visitors for the first time in the game with less than four minutes to go. Stokes five consecutive points (his only points in the match) did the score 47-53, before a down-town three pointers by Michal Kremen (200-G/F-81) cut the deficit to just three points for Keravnos, 1.27 before the end of the 3rd period. Vaughn and Zvonko Buljan though were there to end the period with 52-58.
In the 4th period, Keravnos kept the winning crescent and with Vaughn as a leading figure, the score went to the double digits for the visitors, 53-64, and 8.14'' before the end of the game. Troupe missed the chance to cut the deficit even more during the three pointless minutes of Keravnos. Dante Stiggers and Mokongo with Troupe cut the deficit with an amazing 8-0 to just three points, 5.48' before the end making the game once more a derby. Demertzis with 4 personal points though, reshaped the score to 64-72, 2.40' before the end, and Vaughn with an amazing dunk gave once more a double digits to the visitors and everything was starting from the zero for Apoel since the time was too litle to turnaround the psyshology and the game. The final 69-76 established by Bobby Maze's two free throws. It is worth mentioned the fact that Coach SKourthopoulos used four players with 32 minutes average in the court, while he gave 10 minutes to Alexis Zachariou (200-F/G-76) upon Trisokkas very bad night. The veteran forward scored 5 points, dashed down 6 rebounds and stole the ball two times, being the top rebounder for his team in these 9.35 minutes who was actually in the court!
Division A Round 2 of Finals. AEK beat Keravnos - 2 days ago
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AEK - Keravnos 90-71 AEK cruised past visiting Keravnos to draw things level in the title series. The game was mostly controlled by AEK. Keravnos managed to win third quarter 26-16. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. They looked well-organized offensively handing out 25 assists. Slovenian power forward Primoz Brezec (216-79) scored 28 points to lead the charge for the winners and Croatian forward Tomislav Petrovic (202-85) chipped in 16 points and 5 assi... [read more]
AEK cruised past visiting Keravnos to draw things level in the title series. The game was mostly controlled by AEK. Keravnos managed to win third quarter 26-16. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. They looked well-organized offensively handing out 25 assists. Slovenian power forward Primoz Brezec (216-79) scored 28 points to lead the charge for the winners and Croatian forward Tomislav Petrovic (202-85) chipped in 16 points and 5 assists during the contest. Five AEK players scored in double figures. American power forward Terell Parks (204-91, college: W.Illinois) responded with a double-double by scoring 15 points and 11 rebounds and his fellow American import point guard Ronald Ross (188-83, college: Texas Tech) scored 15 points and 6 rebounds. Top scorers: AEK: P.Brezec 28+4reb+1ast, T.Petrovic 16+2reb+5ast, A.Sizopoulos 14+5reb+1ast, T.Biggs 13+4reb+1ast, T.Thomas 11+3reb+7ast, G.Palalas 3+5ast Keravnos: R.Ross 15+6reb+3ast, T.Parks 15+11reb+1ast, M.Abukar 10+3reb, K.Barker 8+1reb+10ast, N.Stylianou 7+2reb+1ast, J.O'Brien 6+7reb+1ast
Division A Round 1 of Finals. Keravnos claim opening victory - 5 days ago
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Keravnos - AEK 80-79 Keravnos eked out a narrow home win over AEK to victoriously open Division A Finals. The hosts took control from the first minutes by winning first half. But AEK won fourth quarter 26-19. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Keravnos looked well-organized offensively handing out 21 assists. 24 personal fouls committed by AEK helped opponents get some easy free throw opportunities. American power forward Terell Parks (204-91, colleg... [read more]
Keravnos eked out a narrow home win over AEK to victoriously open Division A Finals. The hosts took control from the first minutes by winning first half. But AEK won fourth quarter 26-19. However it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. Keravnos looked well-organized offensively handing out 21 assists. 24 personal fouls committed by AEK helped opponents get some easy free throw opportunities. American power forward Terell Parks (204-91, college: W.Illinois) stepped up with a double-double by scoring 20 points and 13 rebounds (on 8-of-9 shooting from the field) for the winners and his fellow American import guard Kenny Barker (191-86, college: Alaska-Anch.) chipped in 20 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists. At the losing side Croatian forward Tomislav Petrovic (202-85) responded with 16 points and American guard LaShard Anderson (185-89, college: Boise St.) scored 11 points and 7 assists. Both teams had four players each who scored in double figures. Top scorers: Keravnos: T.Parks 20+13reb+2ast, K.Barker 20+6reb+8ast, J.O'Brien 13+5reb, N.Stylianou 11+2reb+1ast, M.Abukar 8+4reb+5ast, G.Theocharides 3 AEK: T.Petrovic 16+4reb+3ast, T.Thomas 14+3reb+2ast, L.Anderson 11+1reb+7ast, I.Panteli 10+4reb+2ast, P.Brezec 10+3reb, T.Biggs 9+7reb+2ast
Division A Round 4 of Semi-Finals. AEK advance into Finals - 12 days ago
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Apoel - AEK 64-73 AEK outgunned Apoel on the road to seal Division A Finals appearance. The guests trailed by 11 points after first quarter, but they rallied back winning two of next three quarters and won the game by 9 points. AEK dominated on the defensive end, holding Apoel to just 5 points in fourth quarter. Worth to mention a great performance of American point guard Torey Thomas (178-85, college: Holy Cross) who helped to win the game recording a double-double by scoring 10 points,... [read more]
AEK outgunned Apoel on the road to seal Division A Finals appearance. The guests trailed by 11 points after first quarter, but they rallied back winning two of next three quarters and won the game by 9 points. AEK dominated on the defensive end, holding Apoel to just 5 points in fourth quarter. Worth to mention a great performance of American point guard Torey Thomas (178-85, college: Holy Cross) who helped to win the game recording a double-double by scoring 10 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists and Slovenian power forward Primoz Brezec (216-79) who added 17 points and 6 rebounds during the contest. Five AEK players scored in double figures. At the losing side the former international guard Vassilis Kounas (194-84) responded with 13 points and 5 rebounds and American guard Robert Brown (196-92, college: UAB) scored 16 points. Top scorers: Apoel: R.Brown 16+2reb, V.Kounas 13+5reb+1ast, T.Bussey 12+4reb+1ast, M.Best 8+5reb+1ast, G.Pantouris 8+1reb+3ast, B.Mobley 5+7reb AEK: P.Brezec 17+6reb, A.Sizopoulos 14+3reb+1ast, L.Anderson 14+4reb+4ast, T.Petrovic 11+4reb+2ast, T.Thomas 10+13reb+7ast, T.Biggs 5+1reb
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