An awesome derby between two equal teams took place in Kition (AEK’s home court) where AEK Larnacas and Keravnos Strovolou needed the OT to solve their “issues” with the visitors finally coming back from a -5 at the end and with a solid 8-0 to win their 10th Cup!!
Keravnos Strovolou enter to the court with two major injuries as Mohamed Abukar and Anthony King were in the injury list, and even though Abukar was listed in the active roster, the American veteran scorer remain on the bench mainly for psychological reasons.
On the other hand, AEK Larnakas with all its members active, tried for the best, and in fact was very close when in the OT the captain of the team experienced international point guard Iakovos Panteli scored and gave a deficit of a +4 with 1.22” to the end, which obviously was not enough!!
Daral Willis was astonishing, the 22 years old power forward played for three (for his team-mates, King and Abukar) finishing the game with amazing stats and being teh main man of the game.
AEK Larnakas tried to win the cup for a third consecutive time but in the OT couldn’t make it….
Awesome game from Willis the American forward cover up all he empty spots of his injured team-mates (exactly as he is doing it successfully the last month) . Willis scored 40 points!! with 12/16 from the charity line, 11/16 in two’s , 2/3 in three’s, while he dashed down 17 rebounds, had 2 block shots, 1 assist, 1 steal, and only 2 turnovers in 44.11” active minutes!!He was the absolute MVP of the game
The two teams enter the court powerfully with Keravnos having Nikos Stylianou scoring the first 8 points of the game to gain a small deficit initially of 4, 15-19 on the 7th minute but AEK with Gibson (9 points) and Veremenko (6 points) reacted to close the first period with 22-21.
The second period found Keravnos being in a better spot and with good defenses got a surplus of ten points (37-47) since Willis was in a great mood (15 points and 9 rebounds) followed by Channels (9 points). On the other side, AEK had some issues, Biggs and Skific scored 6 points per head, but their arc was horrible with 2/9 three pointers and 13/21 against the 6/14 three pointers and 11/15 in two’s for Keravnos with an accuracy of 60%.
The 3rd period was totally different for the home team, even though the score at the 23΄ was 42-52 for Keravnos, the local players of AEK, Panteli, Sizopoulos and Biggs, took it personally and with a solid 13-1, AEK took the lead with 55-53 on the 26΄ . Keravnos reacted a bid and closed the period with 64-66 with Willis already reaching the 28 points!!.
The 4th quarter was amazing, AEK with an 8-0 took the lead with 6 as Willis got tired, so Keravnos and Coach Leivadiotis who was expecting everything from Willis remain pointless for 6 minutes!!. Willis remain for a minutes off court and took some breaths, he enter in on the 37th minute and Keravnos cut the deficit to one points initially (72-71) and a bit after with his three pointer, gave the lead to his team for another time (75-73) . Keravnos had the lead but at the end with two free throws by Panteli, the game ended in an absolute draw, as Huggins lost the last shot for Keravnos.
In the OT, AEK was so close to the 3rd consecutive cup as 1.20” before the end with a three pointer by Panteli and a lay-up by Duren the score went to 83-79 but Keravnos never said the final word, with Koronides, Stylianou and Willis “transfer” the Cup from Larnaka to Strovolos!!
Periods: 22-21, 15-26, 27-19, 12-10 (76-76), 10-13.