Finikas snatches point from Reds

Panathinaikos stretched its lead at the top of the volleyball table to three points after its comfortable win over Aris and Olympiakos’s hard-fought away victory in Syros in the tie-breaker. Panathinaikos, who is preparing to play Olympiakos on Wednesday for the first leg of the CEV Cup quarterfinal, had no problems at home against Aris and won 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-20). Olympiakos was missing three key players and was pushed to five sets by a strong Finikas Syrou. Olympiakos eventually won 3-2 (25-23, 26-28, 25-19, 22-25, 15-10), but dropped a point in the standings and saw US central blocker Tom Hoff add himself to the team’s injury list. On Friday, Olympiakos was punished with eight games behind closed doors and a record fine of 101,000 euros for the riots in the final-eight of the Greek Cup the previous weekend. Panathinaikos received a one-game penalty and a 20,000-euro fine. Iraklis lost to Aris 3-1 at home during the week and sacked coach Costas Arseniadis on Thursday. Then on Saturday, the champion defeated Ethnikos Alexandroupolis 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-23) with new coach Flavio Gulinelli watching from the stands. EA Patras remained third, thanks to its 3-1 away win over struggling Kifissia. Lamia moved to fifth after seeing off Apollon Kalamarias 3-1 at home. The last game of the round is on tonight at 7 p.m. as PAOK hosts Milon.