SPORTS

Fresh victories for Greek basketball’s pacesetters but Panionios goes down

The four sides that share the top of the A1 basketball division continued with wins over the weekend, while new boys Trikala registered their first ever top-flight win. Champion Panathinaikos had no problems with Aegaleo away, winning 96-81 and offering its top-pick players some rest ahead of the tough games coming up in the Euroleague over the next fortnight. Olympiakos returned to victory with the demolition of visiting Kolossos Rhodes 84-50, while Aris fended off a late surge by AEK to win 77-61 in Thessaloniki. Panellinios dismissed Larissa 91-71, thanks to an excellent fourth period. Trikala switched coaches during the week, sacking young Yiannis Christopoulos and hiring Vangelis Angelou, who last year was on AEK’s bench. The impact was immediate, as the side that had had no wins until yesterday scored an historic 90-81 win over Euroleague challenger Panionios. In the weekend’s other ties, Olympia saw off Kavala 72-63 in Larissa and PAOK came from behind to down Maroussi 76-71. National team coach In an interview that president of FIBA Europe and the strongman of the Greek basketball federation, Giorgos Vassilakopoulos, gave yesterday, he implied that national coach Panayiotis Yiannakis will be replaced due to his simultaneous employment by Olympiakos but stressed there is no rush to find any successor at present. «At the moment, the league is unfolding. Players and coaches have focused their attention there. When the time comes, we will decide,» he said. He did not rule out hiring a foreign coach and did not comment on the rumors about Spanish coach Pepu Hernandez being in talks with the Greek federation.