The new Basket League season started this weekend with three new entries in the top flight, one of which, Peristeri, scored a big upset over FIBA Champions League holder AEK on Saturday. The other two, Ifaistos Limnou and Holargos had too high mountains to climb.
In a thrilling game at Peristeri the host celebrated its return to the top flight with an 83-80 result, showing that the team of coach Argyris Pedoulakis may aim at more than just staying up.
Ifaistos is a club that was only born this summer, as the businessman to buy out Gymnastikos/Faros decided to move the team to his native island, Limnos, in the northern Aegean and named it after the ancient Greek god of fire who was supposed to live on that island. This challenging project, complete with the renovation of the island’s indoor arena, is certainly one of the most daring ever in Greek professional sports.
Nevertheless creating a competitive team out of nothing will not be easy, and definitely rivaling champion Panathinaikos on Saturday was almost impossible. The Greens won 93-65 in Athens, just five days before their opening game for the Euroleague, against Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
Greece’s other Euroleague team, Olympiakos faced new boys Holargos on Sunday in Piraeus, with the 88-78 win for the Reds being quite flattering for the northern Athens team in its maiden game in the top division.
Promitheas Patras, that is about to enter the Champions League for the first time, scored 15 triples to beat Kolossos Rhodes 83-68 away.
Lavrio and Aris played out a particularly close game with the visitors returning to Thessaloniki with a 73-70 victory.
There were also wins for Kymi, 93-89 at Panionios, and PAOK, 81-64 over Rethymno.