After a great game by Lazaros Papadopoulos (210-C-80) and Donnie McGrath (193-G-84, college: Providence), PAOK succeed a heroic victory over Olympiakos, the first defeat for the European Champions in the Greek league since last May (the 4th game of the play-offs, against Panathinaikos) and gave a new interest in the competition. In a derby game PAOK who played without the American Hatcher who got injured and separated from the Thessaloniki team, was aggressive from the beginning since the first five personal points by the veteran Kostas Haralampidis (189-PG-76) gave a 7-2 lead to the Thessaloniki team in the first 2 minutes while Olympiakos reacted and with three 3pointers on the row, from Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket), Mantzaris and Papanikolaou gave a lead to the reds with less than 6 minutes to go, with 7-11. PAOK reacted and showed to the Euro champions that their solid performance against Panathinaikos a week ago and the defeat in the details was not just a coincidence. With Lazaros Papadopoulos dominating in both edges of the court and actually sending to the red bench very early (less than 2 minutes) the young and not so experienced Giorgi Shermadini (216-C-89), he created an early problem in the front line of Coach Bartzokas since the repalcement of the Georgian giant, Kyle Hines (198-F-86) was not exactly a problem for Lazaros. The first period ended with Olympiakos leading by one point but the reds lost their best defender since Manzaris added his name in the long list of the red injuries together with Law, Mavroidis and Powel to add another headache for Bartzokas after the early fouls of Shermadini.
On the other hand, Coach Markopoulos in a role that knows very well all these years, make the best of his roster and used most of his players in a great rotation since his nearly 100% Greek team (the only exception was the Irish Donnie McGrath who remain in the game all 40 minutes due to lack of another point guard), played on an average of 20 minutes and each and every one of them had a specific role. The second period started with PAOK being more aggressive once more and with Haritopoulos in a great momentum, together with Dedas three behind the arc shots gave a lead to the home team at the end of the game with Lazaros Papadopoulos cherry on the pie receiving the third foul of Hynes and scoring the close lay-up. Half time score 39-37 and Lazos already gaining six fouls by from the two red centers (Shermadini and Hines)
the thrid period was quite balance even though PAOK initially increasing his difference to +5 (46-41) the two teams remain pointless for two minutes before a Printezis cut the deficit and Lazos answering back. Sloukas and Hines made a small series of 6-0 to balance the game to 48-48 before Dedas long shot gives a new +3 to the home team. A minute before the end, Sloukas again cuts the deficit to its minimum before a crucial three pointer by Haritopoulos and a dunk by Shermadini (his only basket in the game) ends up the great third period with PAOK leading by one point and showing to his funs that he will be there until the end.
The fourth and most crucial period started with Haritopoulos another basket to be answered by Perperoglou almost in no-time. A behind the arc three pointer by the veteran Kostas Haralampidis was followed by two free throws by Antic, while a new three pointer by Perperoglou (with the 7th assist by Vassilis Spanoulis) gave a lead for a first time after the second period, to Olympiakos by one initially and a three pointer by Vassilis Spanoulis made the score 60-64 and seem to changed the momentum of the game, six minutes to the end. Printezis and Kostas Haralampidis scored and the deficit remained the same five minutes to the end. While Vassilis Spanoulis missed the one of two free throws and the deficit now was 64-47, with less than three minutes to go. Lazaros was there once more and with his "special hook" cut the deficit to just one, 66-67 while Antic missed three pointer gave the chance to Haritopoulos to dashed down another rebound and Donnie McGrath's 5th assist, gave the chance to the MVP of the game and ex player of Olympiakos, Lazaros Papadopoulos to bring his team in the leading position with 68-67 while the momentum in PAOK's Palace was totally changed. Sloukas succeeded both his shots from the charity line to give to his team a new lead (which was the last in the game) with 68-69 but Haritopoulos was there and with an amazing goal foul reshaped the score to 71-69. Vassilis Spanoulis turnover and missed three pointer and a new turnover by Printezis in the next two offenses on the row for the reds were more than crucial since Papadopoulos scored the ready-made basket served by Kostas Haralampidis and the score became 73-69, 30 seconds to the end of the game. Sloukas missed the three pointer but Shermadini's offensive rebound gave him the chance to score two easy points from the charity line, at the same time Bartzokas received a technical foul and Donnie McGrath with the one of two free throws gave the victory to his team with the final score being 76-71 with the two free throws by Kostas Haralampidis.
The MVP title of the game could easily split in two as both Donnie McGrath and Lazaros Papadopoulos were awesome, but Eurobasket believes that the Greek international center with his total performance, his double-double 13 points, 10 rebounds, 7 winning fouls, 2 steals and three assists was a bit better than his Irish team-mate even though he was in the court for 30 minutes and not 40. Donnie McGrath scored 10 points with bad statistics but his 40 minutes in the court and his 6 assists can also characterize him as the co-man of the game.
It is worth mentioned that the front line of Olympiakos (Shermadini, Hines and Giorgakis) scored only 8 points against PAOK's defense, while and at the same time the front line for PAOK was the most productive one since Lazaros Papadopoulos, Dimitris Haritopoulos and Michalis Tsairelis scored the 36 out of 76 points for their team!!
A.O. Agriniou (B) re-signed the veteran player Christos Stavropouloswho will be the new Assistant Coach of the team an acting part of Christos Miriounis Coaching team. He has played for the club for the last six seasons. A.O. Agriniou roster for 2016-2017: Theodosis Govas Grekas Giorgos Bereris Christos Tassopoulos Christos Barouhas Dimitris Mitsou Giorgos Karakonstantakaki Zaharias Pournaras Stavropoulos Petros Argyros Christos Stamoulis Fotis Tassos Georgios Kokkios Coach: Christos... [read more]
AEK Athens is considering to sign Roko-Leni Ukic - 8 hours ago
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AEK Athens (A1) is close to sign 32-year old Croatian international point guard Roko-Leni Ukic (196-84, agency: XL Basketball Agency) who played last time at Acqua Vitasnella Cantu in Italy. In 14 Serie A games he had 10.7ppg, 2.8rpg and 4.9apg last season. He also played 3 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he recorded 11.7ppg, 3.7rpg and 4.3apg. The other team Ukic played that season for was Openjobmetis VA (also in Serie A) in Italian. In 9 games he averaged 12.0ppg, 2.0rpg and 5.6apg. He... [read more]
AEK Athens (A1) is close to sign 32-year old Croatian international point guard Roko-Leni Ukic (196-84, agency: XL Basketball Agency) who played last time at Acqua Vitasnella Cantu in Italy. In 14 Serie A games he had 10.7ppg, 2.8rpg and 4.9apg last season. He also played 3 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he recorded 11.7ppg, 3.7rpg and 4.3apg. The other team Ukic played that season for was Openjobmetis VA (also in Serie A) in Italian. In 9 games he averaged 12.0ppg, 2.0rpg and 5.6apg. He also played 4 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he got 11.8ppg, 1.5rpg and 5.8apg. Ukic also spent pre-season at KK Split in Croatian league that year. In 2005 he was drafted by Toronto Raptors (NBA) in second round (41st overall). Ukic has been also a member of Croatian international program for some years. He has regularly played for Croatian senior team since 2002 and previously for U18 National Team back in 2002. Ukic represented Croatia at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) this year. His stats at that event were 5 games: 5.4ppg, 3.6rpg, 3.2apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 41.2%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 50.0%. Ukic is quite experienced player. He has played also professionally in Spain (FC Barcelona and Laboral Kutxa), Turkey (Fenerbahce), NBA (Milwaukee Bucks), Greece (Panathinaikos) and Croatia (Cedevita). Ukic could be described:
very quick point guard, with good court vision and a rare ability to penetrate; needs to add size and a reliable shot, and to mature in defense.
World Championships U18 '03 comments (by Yarone Arbel):
The star of the Croatian team. Led the senior team of Split to an historical championship in the last season. There is so much talent in the hands of Roko-Leni, that can fulfill his dream and make it to the NBA if he keeps developing.
Not another scorer that can lead the ball. Ukic is a true PG that can control the tempo of the game, with the ability to score on his own. Great penetration, his court vision and passing ability is very high, hit the 3 pointer, even under pressure, a clutch player that know how, want and can take the game on himself in the last minutes. Maybe too much sometimes, but in time experience will fix that too. Hard worker on defense and a great stealer, but not a huge defensive player. Still way too weak but talent is just oozing out of him. One big pleasure. Led all players in steals+assists+blocks-turnovers ratio, 4th in points, 5th in assists and 3rd in steals. What more can you ask for?.
19-year old forward Efstratios Kalogerias (203-97). He has played for the last two years at the junior team of Olympiacos in the A1. B will be definitely a better match and he can see more playing time. Kalogerias was selected to U17 National Team in 2014. AE Nea Kifisia Dimoulas Athens roster for 2016-2017: Guards: Filippos Moschovitis Ektoras Oikonomopoulos Forwards: Efstratios Kalogerias Konstantinos Kefalas Ioannis Chatzinikolas Centers: P... [read more]
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