Reds on top at Basket League’s halfway point

Panathinaikos and PAOK had narrow escapes on the road at the last round of games in the Basket League’s first half, that also saw Olympiakos stroll past Panelefsiniakos to claim the informal title of the winter champion.

Apollon Patras led Panathinaikos by up to 12 points in the second half (49-37), but the Greens – led by AJ Slaughter – made their quality and experience count in the end to win 77-71 at Patra on Monday.

PAOK also had to come from behind on Saturday to see off host Trikala 81-79, with yet another three-pointer in the last few seconds (this time by Marc Carter) that reversed the host’s lead in the same way PAOK had done against AEK in the previous league game and against Italy’s Cantu just three days earlier. That’s three times in six days.

Olympiakos had an impressive 33 assists in its game at Panelefsiniakos to win 102-66 on Monday and finish the first half of the regular season with just one defeat, to Nea Kifissia.

The latter scored its first win after five defeats, beating bottom-of-the-table Panionios 86-85 in a nail-biting encounter. However the team from northern Athens received a blow as its most experienced player, and former Greece captain, Michalis Kakiouzis has left to club and will likely continue his career in Cyprus.

In other weekend games, Aris beat visiting AGO Rethymnou 68-62, AEK downed KAO Dramas 89-79 in Athens and Kolossos won its game with Korivos Amaliadas on Rhodes with an 82-75 score.