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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 14 March 2015
SPORT 28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 14 MARCH 2015 AEK shows signs of past grandeur AEK’s 89-48 Basket League triumph against Apollon Patras shows the club is still strong GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS AEK appears to have returned for good among the elite of Greek basketball, as after a few years of languishing in the lower divisions it is once again showing signs of grandeur that bode very well for its future, if its 89-48 Basket League triumph at Cup finalist Apollon Patras is anything to go by. The basketball division of the popular Athens club, just like its soccer and volleyball divisions, has had huge cash problems in the recent past and was forced to spend some time in the wilderness of the second and third tier of the game. However the 1968 and 2000 European Cup Winners' Cup winner, which was last crowned Greek champion in 2002, appears to be back for good in the A1 division this season and has consolidated itself at fifth spot in the table, even hoping for a place in the league semifinals if it manages to upset PAOK or Aris come the playoffs. It trounced a particularly disappointing Apollon at Patra with a 41-point victory margin, the biggest in the Athens club's recent history away from home. This result overshadowed Panathinaikos' 83-69 home win on Sunday over PAOK, the only team other than Olympiakos in Greece to have beaten the champion this year. Olympiakos actually remained on top of the table as it came from 19-13 down to beat visiting AGO Rethymnou 80-60 in Piraeus on Monday. Kolossos Rhodes overcame the shock of the sports judge's decision that awarded Apollon Patras the victory from the game on Rhodes a week earlier - deeming that the foul and the free throws given in favour of Kolossos were after the end of regulation time. Kolossos defeated host Nea Kifissia 84-73 as Dominic Waters, who had been the hero in the match against Apollon but had that moment annulled by the sports judge, had a remarkable double-double via 15 points and 11 assists. Panionios appears all but AEK happy to see some good results. PHOTOS: KATHIMERINI. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Matildas dominate Cyprus Cup Three wins in four games places the women’s national team fifth in the Cup The Matildas have belted the Czech Republic 6-2 to close their Cyprus Cup campaign in resounding fashion. The victory, Australia's third from four games, secured fifth place in the women's soccer tournament and came after it had trailed early in Paralimni. After conceding in just the fifth minute, the Matildas responded during a frantic opening 20 minutes to take a 2-1 lead through goals to AFC player of the year Katrina Gorry and Emily van Egmond, while Michelle Heyman also won a penalty during the wild start to the march - but was unable to convert from the spot. Heyman found herself on the scorer's sheet early in the second half, tapping in a simple effort from a parried shot. The Czechs managed to claw one back, but Australia completed the rout with two goals in a minute to Clare Polkinghorne and Ashleigh Sykes. "The game was a little bit disjointed and we weren't as fluent as we were the other night against Finland," head coach Alen Stajcic said. "In saying that, the variety we have in our attack is one of our biggest strengths - we don't have to rely on just one or two players to score. "We've got a range of options who all bring something different." Mastoras, Stefanidi win silver in Prague GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS relegated after suffering a painful home loss to fellow struggling KAO Dramas with a 79-72 score. It has found itself three points behind safety at the table and there are only seven games left to play. Some of its fans could not take that the former Euroleague contender is heading down and caused limited riots in the locker rooms on Saturday. Panelefsiniakos is also in big trouble, losing 81-77 at home, but it still is one point behind Korivos Amaliadas that is outside the drop zone. The Amaliada club lost 80-59 at Thessaloniki to Aris, whose Nicosia-born star Alexander Vezenkov was voted the MVP of the weekend for the third time this season. Darwin to host Davis Cup quarters Australia will play July's Davis Cup quarter-final tie against Kazakhstan on grass in Darwin. A purpose-built grass stadium court and two practice courts will be built in the Northern Territory for the tie, which will kick-off on July 17, five days after Wimbledon wraps up. "All the boys are really looking forward to heading to Darwin for the quarter-finals," team coach Wally Masur said in a Tennis Australia statement. "It's been a long time since Australia has had the opportunity to play a home Davis nus and will give us our best chance to progress to the semis." Australia earned its place in the quarter finals thanks to two major wins by Thanasi Kokkinakis and Bernard Tomic. Thanasi Kokkinakis celebrates winning his first round match against Lukas Rosol. PHOTO: JAROSLAV OZANA, CTK, AP. Cup tie in the World Group and I know the people of the Northern Territory will be keen to support the team and spur us all on. "Being able to play on grass in the middle of the Australian winter is an absolute bo- The Greek Australian teenager earned a surprise singles win on day one of the first round, and coupled with Tomic's win against Czech number one Lukas Rosol, gave Australia a 2-0 lead. Overall the first round saw Australia gain a 3-2 advantage to secure its place in the quarter-finals. Source: Reuters, AAP Greece won two silver medals on the final day of the European Indoor Track and Field Championships in Prague last week, as Antonis Mastoras and Katerina Stefanidi finished second in the men's high jump and the women's pole vault respectively. Mastoras cleared a personal best 2.31 metres to finish joint-second with Italy's Silvano Chesani in the final, behind winner Daniyil Tsyplakov from Russia. The Greek jumper beat expectations and his achievement was a surprise for Greek track and field. Stefanidi, on the other hand, was always a favourite for a medal, and came close to her personal best of 4.77 metres, clearing 4.75m in Prague. She only trailed Russia's Anzhelika Sidorova who successfully negotiated 4.80m. Stefanidi actually tried to win gold right at the end by choosing to take on a height she had never beaten, 4.85m, and she failed. Unlike Stefanidi, Greek record holder Nicole Kyriakopoulou fared poorly to finish joint fifth, as she only cleared 4.50m a few days after making 4.80m. All in all, the final tally of two silver medals, plus a fourth place, two fifths and a sixth spot in the Europeans is not bad at all for Greek track and field given the financial conditions in the country and the sport in particular. Antonis Mastoras goes home with a silver for the men’s high jump.
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