SPORTS

Basket League begins with competitive and spectacular games

The new Basket League tipped off on Saturday with closely fought games and spectacular moments, but without favorites Panathinaikos and Olympiakos, who are facing off on Monday in Piraeus.

Panionios and Aris continued in the league from their solid midweek performances in the Greek Cup to score away wins in tricky games. Panionios saw off Panelefsiniakos 74-72 at Elefsina on Sunday after Aris defeated KAO Dramas 66-58 on Saturday.

AGO Rethymnou had a hard time beating Ikaros Halkidas 82-77 at home, as the franchise that moved from the Athens suburb of Kallithea to the central Greek city of Halkida posed a greater-than-expected challenge to last year’s league semifinalist.

Kolossos Rhodes also challenged PAOK at Thessaloniki, but eventually succumbed to its host with a 88-81 score. Apollon Patras had a much easier task beating visiting Ilisiakos 80-65 at home.

Saturday was a big day for Nea Kifissia as the A1 new boys scored their maiden win in the top flight at fellow promoted Trikala BC with a 69-64 score.

Olympiakos will be hosting Panathinaikos behind closed doors on Monday at the Peace and Friendship Stadium.