The Basket League has returned to action after more than seven months, with top-four favorites Panathinaikos, AEK and Peristeri facing unexpected difficulties at the opening round, while new boys Mesologgi stunned Aris.
After a long delay due to the health and financial problems of various clubs, the Basket League finally tipped off on Saturday, with just 12 teams instead of 14, as Panionios, Rethymno and Ifaistos Limnou opted out of the league for financial reasons.
The first round of games actually had one game postponed, that between Lavrio and Promitheas Patras, due to 11 coronavirus cases at the Lavrio camp.
The biggest result of the weekend belongs to Harilaos Trikoupis, last season’s A2 champion that formally goes by the name Mesologgi BAXI this season and is playing its home games at neighboring Agrinio. In its first ever game in the top flight the promoted side defeated visiting Aris 73-70 on Saturday, thanks to a buzzer-beating triple by Devonte Green.
Champion Panathinaikos faced strong resistance from visiting Larissa on Sunday but eventually emerged with a 69-60 win.
Ionikos Nikeas, that absorbed last season’s A2 runner-up Diagoras Dryopideon Aigaleo, gave AEK a hard time, leading for long period of the game on Saturday, before a decisive six minutes gave the experienced visitors victory with an 81-68 score.
In Saturday’s other games Peristeri fought off the challenge of Kolossos Rhodes to win 84-81 at home, and Iraklis earned the Thessaloniki bragging rights over PAOK with a 75-57 triumph.