Basketball rivals to meet again

Rivals Panathinaikos and Olympiakos meet tonight at the OAKA indoor arena for Game 2 of the basketball finals’ series. The Greens already scored their first win (69-67) in Piraeus last Thursday and will try to make their home advantage show tonight (9.30 p.m.) in front of some 18,000 home fans. Given the incidents during Game 1, when the match was interrupted for over 10 minutes as a flare opened up a hole in the court, Panathinaikos has urged its fans to avoid anything that could jeopardize the club’s run at yet another domestic title. In a statement issued on Friday, Panathinaikos said fans should not respond to any provocation and make sure they do not throw even a single coin onto the court. Also today, a sports judge will hear the case against Olympiakos, which is likely to host one or more games behind closed doors due to its fans’ behavior last Thursday. Maroussi has leveled the series with Aris for the third spot in the league after its 85-78 home win on Saturday. The best-of-five series is now tied at 1-1 and the third game is scheduled for Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Thessaloniki. Maroussi managed to shake off both the financial concerns of its owner, Aris Vovos, who is threatening to leave the club, and the first-half lead Aris had built, to claim a crucial win in the race for Greece’s third spot in next season’s Euroleague. The Thessaloniki side was continuously ahead in the first two periods of the game, led by an impressive Keykey Clark, with the first half ending 37-33 in their favor. However, in the second half, Maroussi went ahead 45-41 and 68-60 and, despite Aris’s last-ditch efforts to regain the lead, coach Soulis Markopoulos led his players to their first win this season over Aris after three defeats.

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