The new Basket League started in the weekend with new boys Doxa Lefkadas upsetting PAOK, as son beat father in the Markopoulos family’s coaching battle.
Nea Kifissia declared in August it was unable to stay in the top flight for financial reasons and asked the league to replace it with another club. After a long period of bickering with selection criteria the league decided to award the open spot to Doxa, the first team from the Ionian islands to play in the A1 division ever.
The Lefkada team hired Haris Markopoulos as coach and rushed into buying players for the new championship, and on Saturday it faced PAOK, the team coached by Markopoulos’s father, Soulis Markopoulos.
PAOK is definitely in a period of decline at this stage, and Doxa made the most of it scoring a famous as well as historic win at home with an 84-78 score. Its US shooting guard Dez Wells scored 25 points (3/3 triples, 5/13 two-pointers and 6/6 free throws) to emerge as the Most Valuable Player of the first round of games in the Basket League.
Champion Olympiakos strolled past host Korivos as Amaliada (88-66), while Panathinaikos had a harder-than-expected time beating promoted Promitheas Patron 81-71 at home.
AEK was more emphatic beating the other Patra team, Apollon 77-59 away, and its third-place rival Aris defeated visiting Trikala 75-65.
Probably the most important win belonged to Rethymno, as the Cretans saw off Kolossos on Rhodes with a 74-66 score. The third promoted team, Kymi challenged host Lavrio all the way before succumbing 75-69.