The playoffs of the Greek League has started with the first games of the quarterfinals.
Apollon convincingly beat PAOK, while Ydriakos and Peristeri played a thrilling match. Ydraikos recorded a 10:9 victory after a penalty shootout and made the first step towards the semifinals.
Vouliagmeni and Olympiacos, which took 1st and 2nd place respectively in the regular season, are directly qualified for the semifinals.
Peristeri – Ydraikos 9:10 (2:1, 1:2, 0:1, 4:3, PSO 2:3)
Peristeri: Karountzos 4, Bitsakos 2, Farmer 2, Klimos 1.
Ydraikos: Papasifakis 3, Blanis 2, Kokkinakis 2, Thalassinos 1, Papadogkonas 1, Beristianos 1.
Apollon Smyrnis – PAOK 13:6 (4:0, 3:2, 3:2, 3:2)
Apollon: Moskov 3, Gounas 3, Solanakis 3, Hatzikiriakakis 2, Bowen 1, Goniotakis 1.
PAOK: Prosiniklis 2, Kechaliris 1, Radojevic 1, Syouridis 1, Radonjic 1.
Peristeri, which finished 4th in the regular season, had a home-field advantage in the first game against 5th-placed Ydriakos. But, the visitors emerged as the winners, after a thrilling finish. Peristeri started better and led 2:1 after the first quarter. Still, Ydraikos took control in the second quarter. Their defense worked perfectly in the middle two periods, so the visitors entered the last period with a 4:3 advantage. But, a new turn was yet to come. Peristeri water polo players regrouped themselves at the last break and turned around the 3:4 deficit to a 7:6 lead. However, Ydraikos’ Papasifakis scored an equalizer in the 32nd minute – 7:7 and the match entered the penalty shootout. Alex Wolf, the goalkeeper of the Team USA, who joined Ydraikos just before the playoffs, became the hero of the match. Wolf saved three shots in the penalty series and contributed significantly to his team’s 10:9 win.
The encounter between Apollon (3rd place in the regular season) and PAOK (6th place) offered less excitement. Apollon proved who the favorite was. The hosts rushed to a 4:0 lead. By the middle break, they increased the margin to five (7:2). In the second half, Apollon, led by Nikola Moskov, Alexandros Gounas, and Manolis Solanakis, didn’t let the visitors come back.