The sweeping changes at Panathinaikos following last Monday’s league loss to archrival Olympiakos have created a new landscape in the Greek champion, starting with a much-needed road win at Lavrio on Sunday.
Coach Dimitris Priftis is gone, as well as the management triumvirate of Takis Triantopoulos, Dimitris Diamantidis and Frangiskos Alvertis, with owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos bringing back two former coaches of the Greens: Argyris Pedoulakis has taken over as team director, and Giorgos Vovoras has returned to the team’s bench after less than a year-and-a-half. His assistants include Christos Serelis, who has quit Lavrio after 16 consecutive years of service there.
The irony was that the first game Panathinaikos played in this new regime was at Lavrio, but despite the sentimental moment for Serelis the Greens emerged victorious 91-82. Vovoras had been sacked in the previous league campaign due to a loss to Serelis’ Lavrio.
Leader Olympiakos was also hard pushed against visiting Larissa, yet managed to win 93-84 at the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Saturday, as it prepares for the Euroleague play-offs against Monaco.
AEK, Aris and Kolossos recorded major away wins over the weekend as they all vie for a top-four finish.
AEK upset host Promitheas Patras on Sunday with an 89-85 victory despite a breathtaking performance by new Promitheas signing Conner Frankamp with 24 points, including 15 in the final quarter. AEK had Quino Colom make 25 points.
Aris overcame Peristeri 70-67 in Athens, and Kolossos Rhodes narrowly outscored Iraklis 64-62 in Thessaloniki.
PAOK recorded a vital 81-76 home win over fellow struggling Apollon Patras.