AEK of Athens confirmed how well it is really playing by beating Scavolini on the road on Wednesday night by 68-89 in Group D. Dragan Sakota's team offered a fast, attractive basketball with strategic alternatives and many players going through a sweet moment in their game. Andrew Betts, strong and aggressive, is the man who, together with Bilba, gives security in defense. J. R. Holden shows everyday why he's becoming one of the best playmakers in Europe, while the guards and forwards Komazec, Kakiusis, Dikoudis and Hatzis can eliminate any rival with great perimeter shooting. This is exactly what happened to Scavolini, a team which depends too much on its foreign players Melvin Booker and Miroslav Beric and if they don't play well or other players stand for them, Scavolini's options get reduced to the minimum.
The duel was balanced in the first quarter, which ended with AEK in the lead by three (20-23). The second period though, started with a stronger AEK that forged a 23-31 difference in the quarter which gave the Greeks some tranquillity to play their game. Dragan Sakota was called a technical foul but it had no further consequence for his team. The 10-point deficit of Scavolini (31-41 in minute 18) still gave the Italians some option for victory, but by the time the half arrived AEK had increased the lead to 31-47, with Hadzis hitting a buzzer beater from the three-point range. With such a big gap on the scoreboard, AEK played even better and the third quarter ended 53-70. The Greek team showed its authority and finally got Arijan Komazec back. The Croatian, who didn't play at all last season, had started this campaign not very well, but in the last games he has become the killer that AEK needs to fulfil its goals.
Wednesday, October 31, 2001