Peristeri upset Panathinaikos for a second year in a row, shattering its unbeaten record in the Basket League and showing it is the favorite for finishing second in the regular season.
The excruciating schedule of the Euroleague, that had Panathinaikos face Barcelona last Friday, and then host Fenerbahce this Tuesday before traveling to Israel to play Maccabi on Thursday.
In between the Greek champion made the short trip to the Athens suburb of Peristeri on Sunday, and found itself trailing by 16 before making a last-ditch effort to avert its first league defeat. It didn’t, and Peristeri produced a triumphant 82-78 result.
Despite Olympiakos’ absence from the top flight, this was the second domestic defeat for the league-and-cup holder, after being eliminated from the Cup to Promitheas Patras. On Monday Panathinaikos further found out from the Euroleague it will have to host Fenerbahce on Tuesday behind closed doors.
Promitheas is the main rival to Peristeri for the second spot, and on Saturday it narrowly edged out host Iraklis 72-70 at Thessaloniki.
Peristeri and Promitheas are on an 8-3 record, followed by AEK on 7-4. The Yellows of Athens saw off those of Thessaloniki, i.e. Aris, 92-79 on Friday, keeping their opponents at the foot of the table.
In other weekend games, Rethymno moved away from the drop zone with its 90-76 defeat of Ionikos, Ifaistos overcame the challenge of Kolossos Rhodes on Limnos (72-64), and Panionios won a third game in a row, this time against Larissa (74-71), to rise to eighth at the table.