Reds lose to Nea Kifissia, search for new coach

Nea Kifissia recorded the biggest win of its short history in the top flight defeating Olympiakos 68-67 on Sunday, in a Basket League weekend marred by the abandonment of the Thessaloniki derby between Aris and PAOK due to fan action.

The Kifissia team, from the northern suburbs of Athens, had challenged Panathinaikos a week earlier and this time managed to score a famous win over giant Olympiakos. This has reopened the coaching issue at the Reds, with PAOK’s Soulis Markopoulos reportedly being the favorite for the Piraeus club’s bench.

The Olympiakos coach of the last two-and-a-half years, Giorgos Bartzokas, resigned after the Cup loss to Panathinaikos earlier this month, and the club temporarily upgraded his assistant Milan Tomic to the post of the caretaking head coach.

After the refusals by France’s Vincent Collet and Serbia’s Aleksander Djordjevic, Olympiakos contemplated keeping Tomic as the head coach for the rest of the season. However the loss at Kifissia has forced Olympiakos to turn to Markopoulos, the coach with the record number of games in the top flight. The Greek has got a contract with PAOK until 2019, but the Thessaloniki team is said to be prepared to discuss allowing him to fulfill his dream and join a Euroleague contender such as Olympiakos. Among his likely successors at PAOK is former Panionios coach Giorgos Sferopoulos.

PAOK only played 19 minutes of its game at Aris on Saturday, as the objects hurled onto the court by the Aris fans forced the abandonment of the Thessaloniki derby, with PAOK set to win the game 20-0.

Trikala and Korivos Amaliadas played a spectacular game that was decided in the second overtime in favor of Trikala with 102-93 score.

AEK grabbed its first win after returning to the Basket League, defeating Panionios 77-64, Apollon Patras saw off Panelefsiniakos 91-82, and AGO Rethymnou beat KAO Dramas 72-66.

On Monday Panathiniakos visits Kolossos Rhodes.

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