Thessaloniki basketball club Aris overcame a serious challenge from visiting Athens team Panionios last night for an 84-82 victory and a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five series for third spot in the Greek basketball league. It secures a berth in next season’s prestigious and lucrative Euroleague. Panionios held a promising 10-point lead at halftime but Aris managed to respond. The pair meets again for Game 2 this Saturday in Athens. Defending champion Panathinaikos, recently crowned European champion for the fourth time in the club’s history, begins its quest for another Greek title tonight when it hosts Olympiakos in their best-of-five title opener.