Greece: Panathinaikos champion after 14 years! Olympiacos defeated also in Game 2!
With 19 points of the MVP Raptis (moved from outside-hitter to opposite in these playoffs due to Starovic’s return to Serbia) Panathinaikos also wins Game 2 (in comeback from 0-1 and 16:19 in the 2nd set) and wins the title of champion of Greece for the 19th time in its history. The team credits 25 titles even counting 1921, 1944, 1951, 1952, 1959 and 1960 which, however, are not officially counted as national titles. The last league title dated back, however, without any doubt, to 2006!
The match was played behind the closed doors at the Agios Thomas hall in Athens (both semifinal series played at the OAKA hall, also in Athens), and Panathinaikos won the series by a 2-0 (both rivals in the final won respective semifinal series by a 2-1).
It was probably the most unpredictable and exciting Greek championship of all time given it was held in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic! Actually, it was the first competition in the volleyball world that finished during the pandemic, and the first resumed in Europe.
Total flop for Olympiacos (in the season also beaten in the League Cup at the Golden Set) which after the bad final of the second set did not appear on the field in the last two partials.
Munoz’s team pays for the absence of Finger (the Czech opposite does not recover the ankle problem suffered in Game 1 and is not even on the scoresheet). His replacement, Aspiotis, after a good start, closes only with 12% of efficiency in attack and Koumentakis that replace him during the game does even worse (-13%). On the other side, the opposite Raptis closes with 50% in attack and 38% efficiency. Also noteworthy is the good entry from the bench of Pantaleon: 8 points, 0 errors with 100% in attack, 3 winning blocks and 1 ace. Olympiacos attack in the last 2 sets is below zero: -5% efficiency in the 3rd set, even -14% in the 4th while the winners, led by the setter Jacobsen, record 53% in attack and 41% of efficiency in the match.
Final Game 2 – July 12, 2020
Panathinaikos (3) — Olympiacos (1) 3-1 (22:25, 25:22, 25:15, 25:13) Serie: 2-0
Panathinaikos: Jacobsen 2, Cacic 10, Pelekoudas 7, Raptis 19, C. Andreopoulos 9, Lucas Rangel 9, Zisis (L); Pantaleon 8. Not entered: Mouhlias, Meliggiotis, Roussopoulos, Barbounis, Palaiologos, Sonakis (L). Coach: D. Andreopoulos.
Olympiacos: Tervaportti 3, Gergye 8, Voulkidis 2, Aspiotis 9, Husaj 8, Petreas 8, Kokkinakis (L); Rizopoulos 2, Stivachtis 0, Andreadis 3, Koumentakis 7. Not entered: Papalexiou, Tziavras (L). Coach: Fernando Munoz Benitez.
|Game 1 – July 9| Olympiacos (1) — Panathinaikos (3) 0-3 (19:25, 22:25, 19:25)
|Game 2 – July 12| Panathinaikos (3) – Olympiacos (1) 3-1 (22:25, 25:22, 25:15, 25:13)
Eventual Game 3 – July 15| Olympiacos (1) — Panathinaikos (3)
Images from Facebook