TIM Maroussi made their first step towards the FEL Final Four this evening by beating domestic rivals Aris BSA 85-76 in true "Greek Combat". The aggressive defense of the home team (15 steals), their domination under the boards (15 offensive rebounds) and the fact that five players scored in double digits definitely gave the hosts a sense of superiority over their visitors.
Maroussi went on a 15-0 run in the first half and gained an impressive lead by 16 point margin before the half-time break(41-25, 17"). In the second half the Maroussi players simply took advantage of Aris' tiredness after their victory in the Greek Cup Final on Sunday and also that they were playing without their leading scorer, Nestoras Kommatos.
Aris' Vetoulas and Bailey made a last effort to get their team back in the game, but the rest just didn't have the energy required. Andre Hutson top-scored for Maroussi, while Roderick Blakney, Prodromos Nikolaidis and Oliver Popovic all had 15 points a-piece.
MVP of the game: Roderick Blakney
Panagiotis Giannakis (Coach of Maroussi): We just are 1-0. You have to be very careful and fight for 40 minutes if you want to get such victories.
Charles Burton (coach of Aris): The absence of Kommatos and the tiredness after the Greek Cup Final should not be an excuse. Maroussi were much better tonight and won fairly.