SPORTS

Panathinaikos hoopsters silence 9,000 AEK fans

Panathinaikos shook off the challenge of host AEK in the Athens derby on Monday to stay within one point from leader Olympiakos that had dismissed Kolossos Rhodes on Sunday. However the biggest win of the weekend belonged to Apollon that thrashed Aris.

Nine thousand AEK fans gathered at the Olympic Sports Hall to see their team face the Greek champion after two years, but Panathinaikos proved too good for its host to win 70-62 largely thanks to its tight defense. This was the 500th victory for the Greens in 586 games in the professional game.

One day earlier Olympiakos defeated Kolossos 88-64 on Rhodes for its 15th win in 16 games so far in the league.

PAOK prepared for its semifinal against Panathinaikos at home on February 22 with a 72-64 home win over KAO Dramas on Saturday, stretching its lead over fourth-placed Aris to two points, as its Thessaloniki rival went down 76-60 at Apollon Patras.

AGO Rethymnou came from behind to beat visiting Korivos Amaliadas 78-66, Trikala sank Panionios even deeper downing it 78-69 and Nea Kifissia edged out relegation-threatened Panelefsiniakos 68-67.