Alive in the hunt for the title, Panathinaikos beat Olympiakos in the tie break!

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Beat Olympiakos in the tie break and Panathinaikos goes for its last “roll” at Rentis! The “greens” despite seeing Olympiakos turn the match against them in Mets, reacted, they responded with a new upset against the “red and whites” and with the 3-2 setsthey go to the indoor gym “Melina Merkouri” on Monday (22/4) to tie the Volley League finals series at 2-2.

The match:

Committed to his game, Panathinaikos wanted to show Olympiakos that he was not going to give up and entered the first set strongly, even taking his first ace, something he did not do to Rentis and left at +4 (7-3) forcing him Daniel Castellani to call a timeout. But again the “greens” continued at the same pace and with an excellent block they reached +6 (15-9).

The “clover” kept the same momentum in its game, forcing the Piraeus to invest in attacks with strikes in the back zone, where there was always a Panathinaikos player. Without breaking a sweat, the hosts managed to make it 1-0 in 22 minutes with Hernandez taking his third point of the match and making it 25-15 (1-0 set).

Balanced at the beginning of the second set with Olympiakos finding important points after damaged receptions by Panathinaikos players and went to +3 (5-8) forcing Dimitris Andreopoulos to his first time out of the match. Piraeus continued with the same momentum and taking advantage of Panathinaikos’ blackout in the attack they built a significant difference of five points (9-14).

The “greens” reacted by managing to reduce with a partial 3-0, however Olympiacos opened the gap again to four (14-18). Panathinaikos again had an answer to the “red and white” crescendo and managed with a personal 4-1 to reduce to a point after a self-sacrificing defense by Protopsaltis and an important point by Hernandez for 18-19.

Despite the fact that Panathinaikos showed a good image in the second set as well, reducing to 20-21 with Hernandez, Olympiacos took advantage of the home team’s mistakes and, with Hidalgo and Djuric as protagonists, reached the level of the sets at 1-1 (21-25).

An excellent start from both sides and consecutive lead changes reserved the third set for the Mets with neither team managing to escape the score by more than two points. An excellent and highly impressive rally at 11-10 with fantastic defenses found Olympiakos winning and leveling at 11-11.

The tie continued for a while in the third set until two impressive passes by Hidalgo and an error in the reception of Panathinaikos brought Olympiakos to +3 (16-19).

This benefited Daniel Castellani’s team, which, with the “cushion” of three points, remained ahead throughout the third set, which it eventually took with 20-25, turning it around.

Same situation in the fourth set with Panathinaikos taking the lead with two points and Olympiakos reacting, initially tying at 6-6 and then taking an 8-9 lead. But the hosts made a terrible start and with a separate 5-0 brought the match to 13-9.

But the “red and white” after Castellani’s time-out, returned for good by turning the match for 14-15! The two teams went point by point with Olympiakos having a short lead in the score until 16-17! There the “greens” made a very good start and with a 3-0 run of their own they reached 19-17.

The team of Dimitris Andreopoulos maintained its lead and even widened the gap at the most crucial point, reaching 25-20 and equalizing at 2-2 leading the match to the tie break where it would try to exhaust its last hopes to stay in the title chase.

The block outs were the ones that gave points to both teams at the beginning of the tie break, where neither got two points in a row with the match going point-to-point in the draw until Petraea’s ace brought Panathinaikos to +2 (7-5 ) and forced Castellani to call a timeout. But that didn’t change the facts since the hosts went to the change of sides with a three-point lead (8-5).

But a serve by Petraea at the net and an ace by Stern brought the score to 8-7 with Andreopoulos calling a timeout. The thriller returned with Panathinaikos and Olympiakos again going point by point and Protopsaltis with a difficult pass to make it 11-9.

Olympiacos remained close to the score and managed to make it 13-13 after an attack by Hidalgo and a block on Hernandez with the tension being prolonged. Djuric’s out on serve gave Panathinaikos a match point, which erased a faulty defense in a dead attack by Olympiakos. Two serves from each side went… lost (15-15).

Hernandez got a crucial point to make it 16-15 and Stern’s winning block brought the match back to level. Protopsaltis with a block out and Djuric in the first year tied. A mistake by Travitsa in the service and the ace of Hernandez were what gave the match to Panathinaikos with 3-2 sets.

THE SETS: 3-2 (25-15, 21-25, 20-25, 25-20, 19-17)

*Panathinaikos’ points came from 12 aces, 53 attacks, 4 blocks and 41 opponent errors while Olympiakos’s came from 7 aces, 51 attacks, 13 blocks and 31 opponent errors

PANATHINAIKOS (Dimitris Andreopoulos): Kasambalis 3 (1 ace, 2 blocks), Kovar 11 (9/18 ref., 1 ace, 1 block), Rangel 4 (4/8 ref.), Hernandez 25 (22/43 ref., 3 aces), Voulkidis 6 (3/7 ff., 2 aces, 1 block), Protopsaltis 17 (13/27 ff., 4 aces, 45% sub. – 40% excellent) / Kontostathis (l., 48% sub. – 33% excellent ), Petreas 1 (1 ace), Markou, Fragos 2 (2/3 ref., 33% sub. – 33% excellent)

OLYMPIAN (Daniel Castellani): Stern 18 (16/34 ref., 2 aces), Gustavao 6 (2/6 ref., 4 blocks), Koumendakis 11 (9/22 ref., 1 ace, 1 block, 28% sub. – 22% excellent) , Travica 3 (1/5 ref., 2 blocks), Juric 14 (9/10 ref., 2 aces, 3 blocks), Hidalgo 19 (14/31 ref., 2 aces, 3 blocks, 33% ref. – 27% excellent) / Tziavras (min., 37% sub. – 23% excellent), Komitoudis, Karasavvidis (min.), Dalakouras

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