AEK finish first, Eternal Derby in first round of the playoffs
AEK claimed first place in the Basket League regular season while Panathinaikos and Olympiacos will meet in the first round of the playoffs.
It was a dramatic finale in the regular season of the Basket League as Panathinaikos forfeited their match to Kymi and plunged to third place in the standings, allowing AEK to claim first place for the first time in 17 years. Lavrio joined relegated Kolossos Rodou and the two clubs will compete in next year’s A2 Basket League.
AGONAsport takes a closer look at the final standings in the Basket League.
The Enosis defeated relegated Kolossos Rodou on the final matchday to finish the regular season with 43 points and an 18-8 record. They will enter the playoffs as the number one seed and home court advantage throughout the postseason. They will match up with the eighth seed Holargos in the first round of the playoffs. Holargos finished with 38 points and a losing 12-14 record in the regular season.
Newly promoted Peristeri put together a fantastic season under coach Argiris Pedoulakis and finished in second place with 43 points and a 17-9 record. The Peristeri outfit defeated both Panathinaikos and Olympiacos in the regular season and will look to qualify for the semi-finals of the playoffs when they face off against Ifaistos Limnou in the first round of the playoffs. The seventh seed side from Limnos tallied 39 points with a 500 record at 13-13.
Panathinaikos were certain to finish the regular season in first place, with just one loss to their name, but their decision to forfeit their final match against Kymi proved costly. The Trifylli were handed their second defeat of the season (0:20 forfeit) and were deducted six points from the league table to drop down to third on 43 points (24-2 record). Due to their inferior head-to-head record against Peristeri, the Prasini finished in third despite being level on 43 points.
Shockingly, the first round of the playoffs will see the two giants of Greek basketball, Panathinaikos and Olympiacos, face off for a place in the semi-finals. Olympiacos, who forfeited a league match against Panathinaikos earlier in the season and abandoned a cup semi-final at half-time against their eternal rivals, were deducted a grand total of eight points from the table and finished the season in sixth with 40 points (23-3 record).
Promitheas claimed fourth place in the league standings with 42 points (16-10 record) and will meet a struggling PAOK side in the first round of the playoffs. The Thessalonikis ended up in fifth place with 41 points and a 15-11 record.
After Panathinaikos’ decision to withdraw from the league on Wednesday, the ESAKE has scheduled an emergency General Assembly meeting for Thursday. The many issues surrounding the league will be discussed and a decision will be made about the start date of the playoffs, which were originally scheduled to tip-off on Sunday.
As it stands now, Panathinaikos have withdrawn from the league all together unless their demands are met while Olympiacos are planning a move to the Adriatic League next season.
MISS OUT ON PLAYOFFS
Aris (9th), Rethymno (10th), Panionios (11th), and Kymi (12th) all ended the season on 38 points and an 8-18 record. The four clubs will not partake in the postseason, but will happy to compete in next year’s first division by avoiding the drop zone.
Kymi will be thankful of Panathinaikos’ decision to forfeit on Wednesday as a Kymi loss at the OAKA Nick Galis Hall would have resulted in relegation to the second division. Aris, on the other hand, will be disappointed with their 2018/19 campaign and will look to rebuild for next season.
Fifteenth placed Lavio and bottom of the table Kolossos Rodou suffered relegation from the top flight and play in next season’s A2 Basket League. Despite Lavrio’s win against Ifaistos Limnou on Wednesday, their 7-19 record with 33 points was not enough to avoid the drop. However, if Kymi had played Panathinaikos, with the Greens expected to win the match, Lavrio could have very well claimed 14th place and secured their top flight status. The club’s president plans to take the matter to court.
Kolosso Rodou ended their 12-year stay in the A1 Basket League after finishing with a disappointing 5-21 record and just 31 points.
FINAL BASKET LEAGUE STANDINGS
1. AEK 44 pts (18-8)
2. Peristeri 43 pts (17-9)
3. Panathinaikos 43 pts (24-2)*
4 .Promitheas 42 pts (16-10)
5. PAOK 41 pts (15-11)
6. Olympiacos 40 pts (23-3)**
7. Ifaistos Limnou 39 pts (13-13)
8. Holargos 38 pts (12-14)
9. Aris 34 pts (8-18)
10. Rethymno 34 pts (8-18)
11. Panionios 34 pts (8-18)
12. Kymi 34 pts (8-18)
13. Lavrio 33 pts (7-19)
14. Kolossos Rodou 31 pts (5-21)
*Panathinaikos were deducted six points
*Olympiacos were deducted eight points
FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF MATCHUPS
Pair 1: AEK (1) - Holargos (8)
Pair 2: Peristeri (2) - Ifaistos Limnou (7)
Pair 3: Panathinaikos (3) - Olympiacos (6)
Pair 4: Promitheas (4) - PAOK (5)
*The first round is a best of three series. Higher seed has home court advantage
In the semifinals the winner of Pair 1 will verse the winner of Pair 4; and the winner of Pair 2 will verse the winner of Pair 3.