Favorites take lead in league semifinals

Panathinaikos and Olympiakos go into the second games for the semifinal series of the basketball league today and tomorrow after emphatic home victories last weekend over Panellinios and Maroussi respectively. Panellinios was no match for Panathinaikos in Game 1 of the best-of-five semifinals on Saturday evening at the Olympic Sports Hall, with the hosts triumphing 88-58 to lead 1-0. The Greens dominated, especially in the first half, when they built their lead and looked capable of sweeping the series. Game 2 is set for tonight (6.45 p.m., live on Skai) in Kypseli. Olympiakos won 69-53 but faced a stiffer challenge against Maroussi on Sunday at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, particularly in the first couple of periods, given its exhaustion from the Reds’ failed attempt to win the Euroleague a week earlier. Maroussi, which finished third in the regular season behind second Olympiakos, showed it can cause more problems for the Reds when the two sides meet again tomorrow (5 p.m., live on NovaSports1) at Maroussi for Game 2.

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