PAO draws first blood in volleyball derby

The first big game of the volleyball league season ended with Panathinaikos triumphing over eternal rival Olympiakos 1-3 in Piraeus on Saturday. Serb star Ivan Miljkovic was not enough for Olympiakos against a well-prepared team coached by Alekos Leonis, who had Liberman Agamez in great form. The Greens came from behind in each of the first two sets to win both with 26-28 and 23-25. The hosts pulled a set back (25-19) but Panathinaikos was far better in the fourth set and, despite the injury to blocker Andreas Andreadis, it won 20-25. In the other games of the league’s opening round, champion Iraklis had no problems beating local rival Aris 0-3 away, while the other Thessaloniki derby between Apollon Kalamarias and PAOK saw the newly promoted hosts win 3-2. The other new boys in the division, Phinikas Syrou scored their first ever win in the top flight, upsetting hosts Lamia 1-3. Milon outplayed visiting Kifissia after the first set to win 3-1 in Nea Smyrni, while EA Patras beat Ethnikos with an emphatic 0-3 in Alexandroupolis.