SPORTS

Close shave for the Greens on New Year's Eve

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

Panathinaikos coach Xavi Pascual knows the Greens were narrowly spared a New Year's Eve upset on Rhodes.

TAGS: Basketball

Panathinaikos narrowly escaped a huge upset at Kolossos on New Year’s Eve, managing to preserve its perfect record after 10 rounds of games in the regular season of the Basket League, while Lavrio triumphed over PAOK to go alone in third.

Sunday’s game on Rhodes was supposed to be a rather easy proposition for Panathinaikos that also savored the return of Nick Calathes from injury. However Kolossos showed its great form and strength when playing at home leading by up to eight (47-39) midway through the third quarter and by seven (66-59) during the last period.

The experience of Panathinaikos turned things around (68-72) and it all boiled down to a missed buzzer beater by the host’s Malcolm Griffin as the Greens snatched a 71-72 victory which the Rhodes team equally deserved in this thrilling encounter.

A couple of hours earlier Olympiakos strolled to an 87-65 home win over struggling Panionios, thanks to a solid second-half performance, to stay two points behind the leader.

On Saturday host Lavrio put an end to the five-game winning streak of PAOK downing the Thessaloniki giant 90-72 and leaving it to fourth, along with Promitheas Patras that lost 78-71 at Korivos Amaliadas.

AEK is also joint fourth through its easy 106-79 beating of Gymnastikos Larissas/Faros in Athens, Aris scored a precious home win over relegation-threatened Trikala (82-63) and Rethymno entered the top eight with a hard-fought (83-73) victory over Kymi on Crete.

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