Olympiakos avoided a major upset at Kifissia by the skin of its collective teeth on Monday, as the depleted Reds escaped from the court, where they have lost in the recent past, with a two-point win to keep the heat on leader Panathinaikos.
The thrilling match at Kifissia ended 75-73 in the visitors’ favor, after the hosts failed in their buzzer-beating three-point shot that would have given them victory. Therefore Olympiakos remained one point behind unbeaten Panathinaikos that saw off host Korivos 75-57 at Amaliada on Sunday.
Aris produced an emphatic 82-50 home win over hapless Apollon Patras on Saturday and is third, one point behind Olympiakos. The Thessaloniki club is level on points with fourth-placed AEK that defeated Rethymno 86-70 at home on Saturday, one day before hiring the coach of the Slovenian national team, Jure Zdovc.
Kolossos Rhodes rose to fifth through an 85-72 win at bottom side Kavala, one point ahead of Trikala, that thrashed Arkadikos 82-54, and PAOK that is firmly on the recovery path and downed Lavrio 78-62 away.
The league continues in midweek with fixtures on Wednesday and Thursday, including the big game between Olympiakos and Aris on Christmas Eve.
However the Basket League has also been dominated by a rather unpleasant issue concerning the cancellation of the result of the match between Kifissia and Lavrio. The visitors had won the game 82-81 after the referees had failed to count two points for the hosts that would have made the score 81-80 in their favor with 27 seconds left on the clock.
Kifissia lodged an official complaint and had the decision go its way at the Supreme Sports Court (ASEAD), so ESKA, the league’s organizer, has now decided that the last 27 seconds of the match at the Zirinio sports hall will be replayed, with the two teams fielding the same players as they were at the time.
The irony there is that the man who scored the controversial points was Dimitris Mavroidis, who has since left Kifissia to join AEK…