Olympiakos fans hand title to PAO

After yet another disgraceful night for Greek sports, Panathinaikos was crowned basketball champion for the eighth year in succession in the early hours of Monday morning. The fourth match of the A1 final series staged at Olympiakos’s home court was suspended one minute from the end of the game with Panathinaikos leading 76-69 as the home fans showered the arena with countless objects, including flares and fireworks that had the referees and Panathinaikos rushing to the dressing rooms for cover. Earlier there had been extensive clashes between Olympiakos fans and the police that caused the tipoff to be delayed by 40 minutes, while the game was stopped for almost an hour in the second half when a massive explosion from a firecracker rocked the visitors’ bench, forcing the partial evacuation of the stands. A sports judge will determine the penalty for Olympiakos, which lost the game 20-0 on paper, as regulations suggest for the club responsible for a stopped game. It marked a sad end to a domestic season that will probably be the last for coach Panayiotis Yiannakis on the Reds’ bench. Panathinaikos, victor of the final series with a 3-1 score, announced yesterday it will stage its title fiesta tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Olympic Sports Hall in Maroussi, with entrance being free for everyone. There is one more issue still pending in the A1 division, to be resolved today: It is the fight for the third spot between Maroussi and Panellinios, which are vying for a place in next season’s Euroleague. Their best-of-five series is tied at 2-2, after Panellinios came back from 2-0 down, and tonight (7 p.m. live on novasports1) Maroussi will host the deciding fifth game.