The play-in tournament was last weekend’s overture for the playoffs in Greece.
The teams that finished the regular season between 7th and 10th place battled for the quarterfinals.
In the end, Panathinaikos and Ethnikos, which finished the league in 7th and 8th place, respectively, reached the top 8.
2022/23 Greek League Play-in tournament
The competition formula of the play-in isn’t usual for European water polo..
Let’s go step by step.
On Day 1, Panathinaikos (7th place) and Ethnikos (8th place) faced off in the first game of the play-in. Glyfada (9th place) met Ydraikos (10th place).
The duel between Panathinaikos and Ethnikos was a hard defensive battle. There were no goals in the first eight minutes. Panathinaikos earned a 2:1 lead by the middle break, but Ethnikos leveled at 3:3 before the final quarter. Ethnikos took control in the fourth period, scoring two straight goals for a 5:3 lead. Panathinaikos halved the deficit. Still, the hosts couldn’t equalize. Ethnikos’ Mathiopoulos scored his third goal in the match with two minutes to go to set the final score – 6:4.
With this victory, Ethnikos qualified for the quarterfinals from 7th place, but Panathinaikos wasn’t eliminated.
The “Greens” got a new chance. According to the rules, the loser of the match between the 7th-placed and 8th-placed team, plays in the last game of the tournament against the winner of the encounter between the 9th and 10th-placed.
Glyfada dominated the second match of Day 1 and recorded a 12:6 victory over Ydraikos, which meant that Panathinaikos and Glyfada would play for 8th place and the last available ticket for the quarterfinals.
The last match of the pre-playoffs lacked excitement. Panathinaikos proved as far a better rival and didn’t let Glyfada surprise. The Greens’ defense, commanded by goalkeeper Dimitrije Risticevic worked excellently. Seven field players of Panathinaikos found the net in this match for a 13:4 victory.
But, Panathinaikos’ next hurdle will be very high as it will play against Olympiacos in the quarterfinals.
Panathinaikos – Ethnikos 4:6 (0:0, 1:2, 2:1, 1:3)
Panathinaikos: Gelatis 1, Sgouridis 1, Hatzigoulas 1, Chr. Siamas 1.
Ethnikos: Mathiopoulos 3, Tesanovic 1, Papaloukas 1, Papadogonas 1.
Glyfada – Ydraikos 12:6 (2:0, 4:2, 4:3, 2:1)
Glyfada: Al. Ilipoulos 3, Tsatalios 2, Chayivopoulos 2, Giannopoulos 2,Sargetakis 1, Papageorgiou 1, Pouros 1.
Ydraikos: Robopoulos 2, Suzuki 1, Blanis 1, Dimakopoulos 1, Liapakis 1, .
Panathinaikos – Glyfada 13:4 (4:1, 2:0, 3:1, 4:2)
Panathinaikos: Adzic 2, Sgouridis 2, Hatzigoulas 2, Dermitzakis 2, Albertis 2, Chr.Siamas 2, Kandanoleon 1.
Glyfada: Chalyvopoulos 1, Giannopoulos 1, Papageorgiou 1, Tsatalios 1, Iliopoulos Nek., Ledakis, Fotopoulos.
QUARTERFINALS: Olympiacos – Panathinaikos, Vouliagmeni – Ethnikos, Apollon Smyrnis – PAOK, Panionios – Peristeri.
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