SPORTS

Playoffs begin in basketball with Rethymno upsetting PAOK

The league that in the last three years has produced the European basketball champion entered its playoffs on Tuesday and Wednesday with the first games of the quarterfinal round, with AGO Rethymnou producing the first upset.

The side from Crete that had finished fifth in the regular season managed to defeat PAOK 75-71 at Thessaloniki on Tuesday and take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series that continues on Thursday at Rethymno.

Aris nearly created a similar upset at Nea Smyrni, but eventually Panionios held on to its home advantage winning 80-79, in a game that witnessed an impressive Aris comeback that was left incomplete.

Even Olympiakos got a scare from Apollon Patras in Piraeus, but survived it after 35 tense minutes to win 77-63 on Wednesday.

The only emphatic victory was by Panathinaikos, who thrashed visiting Ikaros Kallitheas 88-57 at home, on the debut of power-forward Richard Thomas Guinn.

Games 2 are taking place on Thursday and Friday.