The first half of the Basket League’s regular season has ended with Ifaistos upsetting Peristeri away while Larissa shocked host Lavrio to leave Thessaloniki giants Aris and PAOK in the drop zone.
After losing Olympiakos last season, when the Reds withdrew from the top flight, the Basket League now risks losing two more major names in Aris and PAOK that are rooted at the bottom of the table following the 13th round of games.
The financial problems have forced the two title competitors of the 1980s and early 1990s to struggle for survival in a particularly competitive league. On Saturday PAOK went down 99-82 at crosstown rival Iraklis, while Aris succumbed to second-placed Promitheas 95-79 at Patra.
Promitheas is two points behind leader Panathinaikos, that on Sunday trounced host Panionios 115-74, and one ahead of AEK: The Yellows are now alone in third after thrashing Ionikos Nikaias 103-70 at home.
The win of the weekend came from Ifaistos though: The Limnos island team defeated Peristeri 79-75 in Athens and has joined it on fourth, staking a serious claim for a top-four spot in only its second year of existence. Led by Michalis Tsairelis (17 points), Ifaistos is on an 8-5 record and has left Peristeri out of the top four for the first time this season.
Larissa scored a precious 98-78 win at Lavrio that saw it climb out of the relegation zone, also recording a margin of victory that could prove useful at the end of the regular season. As for Rethymno, it continued its streak of good performances to defeat visiting Kolossos Rhodes 72-61 on Crete.