Apollon Patras gave Panathinaikos a scare at the empty Olympic Sports Hall on Monday, but eventually the Greens preserved their perfect home record to stay top of the A1 league ahead of the derby with Olympiakos a week later. The Reds climbed to second, beating Panionios away on Sunday as the first half of the regular season came to an end.
“Our players have to realize where they are, and which vest they are wearing,” said an angry Argyris Pedoulakis after the match with Apollon. Panathinaikos’s coach saw the Greens win 81-73 – in front of empty stands due to fan action at the Cup game with Olympiakos last month – but they all but wasted a 19-point lead (49-30) they had in the game as the visitors threatened the champions with an upset.
On the contrary Olympiakos somewhat healed its wounds from the 30-point Euroleague loss at Armani Milano beating Panionios 77-66 at Nea Smyrni with a solid performance, to regain the second spot at the standings. It was led by an inspiring Vassilis Spanoulis, scorer of 26 points.
Ilisiakos and Kolossos scored precious victories that also brought about coaching changes to the teams they beat. The Zografou club defeated AGO Rethymnou 86-72 to lead to the sacking of AGOR coach Thanasis Yaples and his likely replacement with Giorgos Kalafatakis, while the Rhodes team upset Aris in Thessaloniki 68-57 to force the return of coach Milan Minic to the Yellows after almost 11 years.
PAOK, in fourth, saw off bottom side Ikaros 86-78 at Halkida to stay one point clear of KAO Dramas, that downed visiting Trikala 83-70.
Newly promoted Nea Kifissia climbed to the sixth place with its 81-73 win of Panelefsiniakos.