by George Georgakopoulos
Olympiakos has returned to basketball titles after its adventure in the second division for two years, as on Sunday it won the Greek Cup downing archrival Panathinaikos in the final. Yet the real winner on the night was the sporting behavior of everyone involved, a rare phenomenon in Greek team sports these days.
The Reds won the 10th Greek Cup in their history with an 81-73 come-from-behind win at Iraklio, in the showpiece of the Final Four that started on Friday.
In the semis Panathinaikos saw off Promitheas Patras 85-68 and Olympiakos edged out AEK 76-70.
Then Sunday’s final was split into two parts: That up to the 25th minute, until when Panathinaikos was dominant and led by 12 (59-47), and the last 15 minutes when the Greens only managed 14 points against 34 by Olympiakos, with the last quarter having a partial 23-6 score.
Panathinaikos’ Nemanja Nedovic was the final’s top scorer with 23 points, while Tyler Dorsey made 21. Sasha Vezenkov also stood out for the Reds with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
More importantly, the final stood out for the impeccable behavior of everyone involved, from the players and the coaches to the fans at the stands of the “Dyo Aorakia” sports hall, with the trophy ceremony showing at last some maturity by both teams and their supporters alike.