Behind Nikos Pappas’ 23 points, Panathinaikos stayed perfect and held off an upset bid from Aris, 76-69, a day after Olympiakos throttled Panionios at Nea Smyrni in the Greek basketball league.
Pappas stepped up in the absence of captain Dimitris Diamantidis to run the Greens to 9-0 in a league it has dominated for decades along with its archrival Olympiakos, which is 9-1 this year and got 18 points from American Bryant Dunston to beat last place Panionios, 73-56.
AGO Rethymnou is alone in third after its Dec. 13 defeat of Kolossos Rhodes, 70-66 and is only two points behind Olympiakos. In other games in the league, Trikala surprised surging AEK 87-83 at home, while struggling Panelefsiniakos squeaked past Korivos, 74-73.
PAOK played a solid game against Nea Kifissia and won 78-67 for its sixth win in eight matches and KAOD got by Apollon Patras, 82-76 in a bid to avoid relegation.