SPORTS

PAOK gives Olympiakos hoopsters a scare

Two games featuring some of the country’s most historic teams vindicated the followers of the Greek basketball league who say it remains one of the most exciting in Europe despite the slashed budgets.

The first one took place on Sunday evening with Panionios edging out host Aris 65-63 at Thessaloniki for its fourth win in five games, a truly breathtaking game that was decided in the very end.

Then on Monday the two unbeaten teams of the league to date, Olympiakos and pAOK, faced off behind closed doors at Neo, with PAOK leading for most of the first half and giving the Reds a decent run for its money in the second, that eventually ended with Olympiakos on top (78-70).

These results, along with the 88-65 triumph by Panathinaikos at Nea Kifissia on Sunday, mean there now is a three-way tie at the top of the table with Panathinaikos, PAOK and Panionios having nine points. Olympiakos is behind them with eight, due to starting the championship with a two-point deduction.

Promoted Trikala scored its first ever win in the top flight, dismantling Ikaros Halkidas 100-65 at home on Saturday. Panelefsiniakos took another step toward safety downing winless Kolossos Rhodes 97-69.

KAO Dramas enjoyed its third win in five games defeating Ilisiakos 76-73 just as Apollon Patras saw off visiting AGO Rethymnou 82-73. Both winners are now on eight points.