SPORTS

Panathinaikos takes lead in final series

Defending champion Panathinaikos, winner of seven of the past eight Greek league titles, overcame a determined Olympiakos side 82-76 last night in the opening game of their best-of-five final series to determine this season’s Greek basketball champion. Panathinaikos, playing at its OAKA stadium, extended its string of victories at home to 59 matches. The archrivals meet again on Sunday at Olympiakos’s Peace and Friendship Stadium for the second match in the series. The home team broke away to an early 10-4 lead by the fourth minute of play. However, Olympiakos, back in contention for a league title after having ended eighth in the previous two seasons, proved a stubborn opponent throughout the game. With two minutes to play, Panathinaikos held a three-point lead (77-74), but strong play late in the game secured victory for the defending champions.