By George Georgakopoulos
Favorites had a smooth weekend in the Greek basketball league registering rather easy wins, though the most impressive game of the 18th round was played on Monday.
Ikaros hosted relegation-threatened KAO Dramas at Glyfada on Monday and led by up to 33 points (56-23 three minutes into the second half), but the Macedonian team fought back and cut the distance in the end to just six points (80-74), retaining a better head-to-head record with the Athens club should the two finish level at the regular season table, given its seven-point win at home.
Leader Olympiakos trounced hapless Peristeri 105-57 at home, Panathinaikos saw off Ilisiakos 87-62 on the road and Panionios defeated visiting Aris 82-75.
The only upset of the round was the 90-80 home victory of bottom club Panelefsiniakos over fifth-placed AGO Rethymnou, keeping the promoted team alive in the relegation battle.
PAOK has all but confirmed its entry to the top four in the regular season, after dismissing in-form Kavala 81-69 at home, and Apollon Patras got the better of Kolossos Rhodes with a 78-66 score.
The results mean there now is a four-way tie between the 10th and the 13th spot, involving Ilisiakos, Kavala, Peristeri and KAOD, with the last two of the 14-team league getting relegated to the A2 division.