SPORTS

Hosts rule as new league starts

The new basketball league tipped off with some very interesting matches that ended with the hosts reigning supreme on all games played during the weekend of October 22-23.

The league that includes just 13 teams (following the failure of Panellinios to obtain a license to compete) is very predictable in that the top two teams will almost certainly be Panathinaikos and Olympiakos, the third team this year will in all probability not get a Euroleague berth, and only one team will be relegated to the A2 division.

Despite this, the first taste of the new league was very enjoyable on Saturday, with Ilisiakos needing a Nikos Hatzis basket six seconds from time to defeat visiting Kavala 68-67, newly promoted AGO Rethymnou downing Ikaros Kallitheas 76-63 in a fantastic atmosphere in Crete, and Kolossos Rhodes continuing its great home form from last season and seeing off Panionios 72-67.

On Sunday Panathinaikos had no problems against Aris in Athens, despite playing behind closed doors, winning 84-72. Aris’s financial problems meant that its squad came to Athens by coach and not by airplane.

On the same day Peristeri braved the strong resistance of visiting KAO Dramas to win 73-65.

PAOK will host Olympiakos on Monday, October 24, while Maroussi sat the weekend out.