Aris’s Vezenkov shines at Basket League opening

Sasha Vezenkov was the protagonist of the opening round of games of the 2014-15 Basket League as he led Aris to a significant away win at Panelefsiniakos, while favorites Panathinaikos and Olympiakos started off with home victories on Sunday.

Cypriot-born Vezenkov scored 19 points and collected eight rebounds in Aris’s 78-70 win at Elefsina, as the historic Thessaloniki club stakes a claim for a top four finish in the regular season.

Three days after its triumph in the Cup over perennial rival Olympiakos, Panathinaikos defeated ambitious Nea Kifissia 76-66 at the Olympic Sports Hall, with forward James Gist returning to action.

Olympiakos had caretaking coach Milan Tomic on its bench, after Giorgos Bartzokas’s resignation, and trounced visiting Apollon Patras 82-56. The Reds issued a statement condemning the attack that Bartzokas and other members of the Olympiakos setup suffered in the early hours of Friday by fans of the club upon the squad’s return to Piraeus from the loss to Panathinaikos.

In the day’s most balanced game, PAOK needed overtime to see off AGO Rethymnou with an 88-79 score, while KAO Dramas defeated Trikala 62-57.

In other games Kolossos beat depleted Panionios 92-76 away and debutant Korivos Amaliadas downed fellow promoted AEK 80-67.

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