An incredible upset of Panathinaikos over Olympiakos and a “green” advantage!

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Unthinkable derbara in the Mets and “green” home advantage! In a match similar to the dynamics and history of the two teams, Panathinaikos prevailed 3-1 set against Olympiakos for the 17th game and a “turn” before the end of the regular time of the Volley League embraced the first place!

Unreal development in the fourth set with Olympiakos completely controlling the match and Hernandez turning the “knob” overturning the Piraeus 15-19 with his own points!

A match for strong nerves in Metz’s indoor stadium with Daniel Castellani’s team tying the sets 1-1 and Andreopoulos’ team showing character in moments when the Piraeus team seemed to be taking the reins! First scorer for the winners with 23 was Fernando Hernandez, Stern for Olympiakos distinguished himself with 16 points.

Second defeat for Olympiakos in the championship, Panathinaikos continued its impressive unbeaten streak of clean victories!

The match

Explosive start for Panathinaikos, who with the excellent service made it difficult for the Olympiakos players in the reception, resulting in a 5-0 lead, forcing Daniel Castellani to call a time-out. The “red and whites” found answers by reducing to two, however their mistakes and the impressive play of Panathinaikos over the net, gave Panathinaikos a five-point lead again. Daniel Castellani’s team played smart and “marked” Hernandez’s reception by temporarily reducing the number to two.

However, the “greens” stepped on the gas and with the impressive Hernandez and Protopsaltis, as well as the great contribution of Theodoros Voulkidis who had two aces in the first set, they made it 1-0 in the set with 25-19.

The swing of the second set was shocking with Panathinaikos taking a quick three-point lead again, but Olympiacos responded with a short run to tie the match and even take their first lead thanks to Stern for (5-6). Panathinaikos was fortunate to see Hernandez raise his percentages, but errors in reception and two excellent attacks by Hidalgo and Stern brought Olympiacos to +2 (12-14) and Panathinaikos tied with his seventh ace in match for 14-14 with Protopsaltis. At that point, an ace by Stern, but also two well-organized “red and white” attacks, brought the champion of Greece to +3 (17-20) for the first time, forcing Andreopoulos to hastily call a timeout.

With the return to the taraflex, Panathinaikos with Voulkidis and Hernandez scoring, but also a mistake by Hidalgo equalized again (20-20). Castellani’s team was not deterred by the “green” counterattack which brought the match to 23-23 with a terrible single block by Kovar on Koumendakis, for 23-23. However, Protopsaltis’ wrong serve, as well as Rangel’s misjudgment, brought Olympiakos to a tie with 23-25.

The third set in Mets was also full of emotions with Panathinaikos firmly in front with differences of three and four points which Olympiacos “erased” by reducing to a point. The “greens” invested in the block with Rangel and Voulkidis offering their best to Dimitris Andreopoulos, but the “red and whites” found a score again with Koumendakis, Pagenk and Stern, who brought the match to a point (13-12). This pattern remained for some time with the duels above the net with Panathinaikos maintaining a short lead until 22-21. There Olympiacos found a terrible 3-0 which boosted their psychology for 22-23 with Andreopoulos calling a timeout. This woke up the “greens” who took the match to… overtime, tying at 24-24. There, Kovar’s successful block out and Petrea’s ace in his first contact with the ball gave Panathinaikos the set 26-24 and the lead in the sets 2-1.

Determined not to lose the lead, but not the match either, Olympiacos managed to take advantage of all the mistakes of Panathinaikos and take a five-point lead (3-8) with the “good morning” in the fourth set. The “greens” were loaded with a lot of weight on their backs, seeing the “red and whites” find solutions in scoring. However, despite Olympiakos’ five-point lead, Pagenk was fouled and red carded and… Hernandez took action!

The great Cuban with an incredible crescendo brought the match from 15-19 to 19-19 and continued with two more points giving Panathinaikos a 22-20 lead.

More in a while…

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