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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 20 June 2015
SPORT 28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 20 JUNE 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Olympiakos’ 11th slam dunk Fans stormed the court and celebrated with the players and officials of the club GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS Olympiakos earned its 11th Greek basketball title on Sunday beating Panathinaikos 93-74 in Game 3 of the finals to sweep its opponent 3-0 in the best-of-five series and return to the throne after two years as second. Even if Panathinaikos this time had forward Esteban Batista on court, Olympiakos was not to be denied victory in front of a capacity crowd at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus. After a balanced first quarter, Olympiakos broke free in the second to build a lead that reached up to 12 points (51-39) at half-time, led by a breathtaking Vassilis Spanoulis, scorer of 23 points on the night. Error-prone Panathinaikos (with 17 turnovers against seven by Olympiakos) had no chance of coming back in the game after cutting the distance to five points early in the third period (51-46), with the hosts' lead growing to 20 points (69-49) five minutes later, and to 23 points just before the end. After the end of the game hundreds of Olympiakos fans stormed the court and celebrated with the players and officials of the club, in what must have been one of the most peaceful final series between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos ever. PAOK beats Aris away to clinch third spot PAOK beat Aris 77-76 away on Wednesday to win the third-place series 3-1 and clinch a spot in next season's Eurocup. Game 4 of the best-of-five series was once again played behind closed doors at Aris's Nick Galis Hall, but there was plenty of action in front of the near-empty stands in a game that was only decid- Panathinaikos fell 93-74 in the last best of five series. ed at the last shot, by Jake Odum. The two Thessaloniki rivals offered fans a very entertaining series, but the stadium ban imposed on Aris for previous trouble by its fans deprived them of a great game that home support might have tipped in Aris's favour. PAOK took advantage of that and managed to win a ding-dong game and finish third in the league. Aris has also applied for a spot in next season's Eurocup, Europe's second-tier club competition, and the Thessaloniki stands an outside chance of becoming Greece's second representative in it. Greek match-fixing scandal goes to court Ex-Greek football federation president Giorgos Sarris and Olympiakos’ boss testify Former Greek football federation president Giorgos Sarris was banned from leaving the country this week after his marathon testimony before a state corruption prosecutor who is looking into a major match-fixing scandal. Prosecutor Giorgos Andreadis ordered Sarris to place a 50,000 euros guarantee, banned him from leaving the country and prohibited him from getting involved in football in the country until a trial is set. Sarris had resigned as president of the federation last December under pressure generated by the match-fixing scandal, which judicial authorities say involve other members of the federation as well. He faces felony charges for his alleged involvement in the establishment of a criminal gang which fixed Greek matches. Olympiakos' boss Vangelis Marinakis is also appearing in the trial and gave testimony on Thursday. Marinakis faces five preliminary charges: the establishment of a criminal gang, match-fixing, fraud, bribery and perjury. In a statement, Olympiakos said Marinakis will meet Andreadis "to refute perjury and slander against him". Marinakis, a shipping magnate who purchased the club in 2010, has built a power- Ex-football federation president George Sarris has been prohibited from leaving the country. house in Olympiakos which has won 17 of the last 19 league championships. Dozens of football officials, referees, and players are reportedly involved in the match-fixing scandal which first started to be investigated in 2011, however no one has yet been jailed. The new leftist government has introduced legislation to reform the federation and impose prison sentences of up to 10 years and fines of up to one million euros for corruptionrelated cases. Source: AFP Vassilis Spanoulis hoists up the cup. PHOTOS: KOSTAS GEORGOPOULOS. Greece builds lead in volleyball GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS Greece's national volleyball team returned to the FIVB World League after a decade of absence with three impressive performances in Mexico last weekend, and stands a good chance for a spot in the third-division Final Four to take place in Slovakia. Despite being a relatively new team with no experience on this level, the Greeks managed to twice overturn a 2-0 set deficit against host Mexico and Slovakia, and win 3-2 on Friday and on Sunday respectively, while leaving incomplete their other comeback, as they overturned a 1-0 deficit to China to lead 2-1 before eventually losing 3-2 on Saturday. The results of the first half of the preliminary round in Greece's pool mean that the national team has collected five points from three games. Crucially, Greece will have home advantage in the latter half of the round as it Greece has collected five points from three games. will host it in Thessaloniki this coming weekend (June 19-21). As things stand if Greece manages to beat China at the Nick Galis Hall it should make the Final Four of its division. The addition of setter Dima Filipov to the roster has improved Greece's game, while opposite Mitar Djuric - arguably Greece's top player - will have recovered from his injury to play in Thessaloniki.
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