By George Georgakopoulos
PAOK has brought fresh interest into the basketball league with its home win over hitherto unbeaten Olympiakos on Sunday, one week before the derby between the Reds and Panathinaikos.
The Thessaloniki club, that had pushed Panathinaikos all the way a few days earlier in Athens, defeated Olympiakos 76-71 at Pylaia leaving the Reds just one point ahead of Panathinaikos in the standings. The Greens made the most of that gift by defeating Aris 81-62 on Monday in Athens.
These results mean that the Olympiakos vs Panathinaikos derby next Monday will have additional interest, because if Panathinaikos manages to win in Piraeus by at least five points it will leapfrog the European champion on a better head-to-head record.
Panionios had to work hard to stay in third, beating visiting KAO Dramas 75-73 in Nea Smyrni and AGO Rethymnou downed Kolossos Rhodes 82-73.
Ilisiakos scored an impressive fourth consecutive victory, sinking Kavala to the last spot with an 82-78 result.
Panelefsiniakos scored its third win this season over neighboring Peristeri with a 75-62, and Apollon Patras defeated Ikaros 95-75.