Everyone who was at Ivanofeio on Friday night may need medical attention, as the double overtime was enough to put stress on even the strongest of nerves.
During the game, both teams had victory snatched from them on more than one occasion. It was more like a thriller than a basketball game! Both teams showed character and proved that their presence in this years “sweet sixteen” of the FEL competition is not a coincidence.
The man of the match was surely Smush Parker, who sent the game into overtime twice and kept ARIS Castrol alive. Anwil showed that they did their homework after the first game and were ready to send the series to a third game in Poland. ARIS Castrol knew that this would be catastrophic, as the Greek Cup Final Four next weekend, and two postponed games for the Greek league do not allow them much time for extra games.
The game was fascinating from the start. ARIS Castrol had a small lead for most of the game (14-12 at the first quarter and 41-33 at the half), but Anwil didn’t give up. With Skele taking the role of leader, and young Witka having an amazing game, Anwil reached Aris at the 30th minute, and in the final minutes of the normal time held the win in their hands.
Fifteen seconds before the game ended, however, Krstic missed one of the two free throws and the score was 73-75. With a quick lay up from Parker, the game was once again even with 9.4 seconds left on the clock. With the pressure that coach Charles Barton's players put on the Polish team, Skele missed a three-point shot and the game went into overtime.
In the first overtime, Anwil once again had the uppper hand and almost reached the win, but Parker wasn’t finished. He tied the game with seconds left on the clock and won a foul that would have given the win to ARIS Castrol. Fate, however, wanted this game to keep the 2,000 fans at the game a little longer…
In the second overtime, ARIS Castrol showed why they are considered to be one of the traditional teams in Greek and European basketball, and with Toby Bailey and Smush Parker not missing a shot, ARIS Castrol reached the final 8 of this year's FEL.
MVP, with a landslide (16/16 votes) was Smush Parker.