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Panionios on verge of relegation from the Basket League

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Panionios is on the verge of going down to the A2 division after losing at home to PAOK in the penultimate round of the Basket League regular season on Wednesday.

Last summer the Nea Smyrni team came back to the top flight it had graced for decades, but its financial problems and the frantic change of coaches during this season forced it to seek a home win over PAOK to have a decent chance of staying up. However it went down 81-67 behind closed doors and is staring at the return to the second tier of Greek basketball, barring a miracle in the last round of games.

For Panionios to avoid relegation it will take either a win of relegated Trikala at Korivos Amaliadas or an away win for Gymnastikos/Faros Larissas at PAOK on Sunday, plus a victory for Panionios at Rethymno.

PAOK sealed the fourth spot in the regular season with its win at Nea Smyrni, while Korivos very nearly ensured its safety from Wednesday when it narrowly lost at Kymi with a 62-60 score at Halkida.

The other big result of Wednesday was the Promitheas Patras victory over Lavrio (98-87) that saw the Peloponnesians clinch the third spot in the regular season, an amazing feat for a team in only its second year in the top flight.

Kolossos and Aris will fight it out on Rhodes on Sunday for the last open spot for the play-offs, after Aris came from behind to beat Rethymno 70-52 in Thessaloniki and Kolossos thrashed Trikala 86-59 away.

At the top of the table, second-placed Olympiakos downed host Gymnastikos/Faros Larissas 95-83, while unbeaten leader Panathinaikos hosts AEK on Friday.

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