League favourites Olympiakos and Panathinaikos enjoyed comfortable home wins on Tuesday to close the year at the top of the table, while Ilisiakos scored a precious victory at Kavala.

Olympiakos shook off the injury problems to Thodoris Papaloukas and Patrick Beverley and defeated visiting Peristeri 78-70 to maintain the lead at the table, if on the same points as Panathinaikos.

The hosts led by as much as 21 points in the second half, but Peristeri reduced the deficit to just six a few minutes from the end, only for Olympiakos to hold on to victory.

The Greens faced a depleted Trikala but trailed 11-4 at the start, before their guns started blazing.

Eventually Panathinaikos won comprehensively (83-54) against a team which played without their coach, as Vangelis Angelou had resigned earlier in the day. He said he would explain his reasons to quit in a press conference to be held on Wednesday.

Panellinios, in third, edged out visiting Olympia Larissas 81-73, although their performance failed to please their coach, Ilias Zouros.

Aris scored a hard-fought home win over Kolossos Rhodes, with the final 51-47 illustrating how tight the game was in Thessaloniki.

“What matters is that we have won, said a relieved Fotis Katsikaris, the Aris coach, “but I needed a painkiller today”, he added.

The biggest win of the day came from Ilisiakos.

The Zografou club scored only their second victory of the season, but it was a very important one at the home court of fellow strugglers Kavala.

In the closest of the day’s games, Kavala led by a point until five seconds before time, when Sakis Karydas scored a three-pointer that gave the visitors the 70-68 win.

PAOK braved the Panionios late comeback at Thessaloniki to win 75-70 and confirm their progress in the last few weeks.

Later in the evening Maroussi saw off AEK 61-56 to remain level on points with Panellinios.