Every beginning is difficult. But when AEK has such Keith Langford, he can not be afraid of anything. The American guard was unstoppable and with 30 points led his team safely to a difficult victory with 100-96 against the tough Hapoel Holon who put … hard throughout the match.
AEK entered the floor strongly and managed to impose its rhythm. Gikas and Moreira took action, building a difference (13-5, 4 ‘). Langford followed and the difference reached double digits (19-7, 6 ‘).
The American guard continued to score, keeping the difference at double digits (24-14, 8 ‘). Tyrese McGee, however, with personal actions, managed to close the gap, with Holon reducing to 24-21 at the end of the first ten minutes.
Dedas players entered the second half with a good rhythm and managed to overtake with Johnson (24-26, 11 ‘). AEK had … surrendered to the rhythm of Holon, which with McGee, Bourdieu raised the difference to double digits (27-38, 14 ‘).
From that point, AEK reacted. Langford took action and with the help of Moreira the difference was reduced (39-45, 16 ‘). The scene remained the same, with the “Union” gnawing the difference even more, thanks to the center from Angola (45-47, 18 ‘).
Langford was … hot and a few seconds before the end of the half put AEK ahead, but CJ Harris wrote the epilogue of the first part for 50-52.
In the second half, AEK tried to regain the lead, but Holon kept control with Harris and Johnson (54-58, 23 ‘). AEK reacted and managed to get ahead with Zisis and Langford (62-60, 35 ‘).
Papatheodorou’s players committed a foul in an attempt for a three-point shot by Holon, something that gave easy points to the Israelis (68-72, 28 ‘). Lodzki made his presence felt and with Gika scoring at the end of the quarter, the “Union” reduced to 75-76.
The defense of Papatheodoros players was effective, as it closed corridors to the basket. Thus, AEK turned the scene upside down, with Jankovic and Lodzeski (86-79, 34 ‘). Two three-pointers by Guy Pnini enabled Holon to get close to a shooting distance (86-85, 36 ‘).
Langford took his weapon and at a critical point “spoke” about AEK (95-90, 38 ‘) with personal actions. Holon stayed true to its plan and finding points from the line of fire reduced with Harris (95-94, 43.8 ” for the end).
A big shot by Keith Langford, however, at 23 ” for the end, brought AEK to +4 at a critical point (98-94). Finally, the “Union” kept the lead and got the victory in its premiere in the BCL.
The quarters: 24-21, 50-52, 75-76, 100-96.