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Violence halts basketball playoff

The first round of Greece's basketball playoffs between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos was canceled on Thursday as fans of the Piraeus team attacked the coach carrying the visitors, injuring two players in the process.

Early reports said that fans pelted the vehicle with stones as it neared the stadium. Greece's small forward Stratos Perperoglou and American forward Steve Smith were both taken to hospital after complaining of eye pain, team manager Manos Papadopoulos told Nova Sport FM radio late Thursday.

The violence came less than a week after Olympiakos triumphed in Europe's premier club competition, the Euroleague, against CSKA Moscow in Istanbul.

Greece's perennial sporting rivals were to face off in the first of a best-of-five series that will decide the domestic basketball champion for 2012. Panathinaikos has won the last nine basketball championships.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday May 17, 2012 (22:50)  
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