During the pre-event presser ahead of the 'Pavlos Giannakopoulos tournament', Panathinaikos' owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos and head coach, Dejan Radonjic, expressed their opinion about the team's roster.

Credit: Vangelis Stolis
Credit Vangelis Stolis

As Panathinaikos BC Athens are about to host the 'Pavlos Giannakopoulos Tournament' for the fourth time to honor their late owner and president, who turned the Greens into a European basketball powerhouse, the Greek team is still to conclude its roster. 

Georgios Papagiannis

Georgios  Papagiannis
Team: Panathinaikos Athens
Position: C
Age: 25
Height: 218 cm
Weight: 125 kg
Birth place: Marousi, Greece

Mateusz Ponitka is going to be PAO's next addition, but he won't be the last piece in the puzzle for coach Dejan Radonjic. The Polish guard-forward, who excelled at the recent EuroBasket with his national team, is expected to be announced by the club in the upcoming hours. Even though Ponitka will be the six-time EuroLeague champs' seventh non-Greek player, the Greens seem eager to proceed with their initial planning and add another athlete to their squad.

Asked about the issue, Radonjic repeated that his team is out for a power forward. "We're still on the market for a '4', and I hope we will find the best possible solution for us," the Montenegrin coach commented in the pre-event presser.

Credit Vangelis Stolis

"I know there are rumors about certain players, about Ponitka for example. But it's not official yet and I don't want to talk about it today," he added. In any case, Ponitka's transfer to the Greek side was officially announced by his previous club, Pallacanestro Reggiana. 

The team's owner, Dimitris Giannakopoulos, refused to answer about PAO's future moves, although he did provide a rather generic comment on the current roster.

"Summer is not the right time to judge," he said. "If we were to judge by what has been said every summer for the last 15 years, Olympiacos would have to win the Greek championship and the Cup every year and Panathinaikos would constantly face problems," Giannakopoulos pointed out. 

Credit Vangelis Stolis

"The right time to draw conclusions is when teams have spent some time together, completed several training sessions, and played some games. During the season, one can judge.

At this moment, whatever I say will be the opinion of a man who's just watching signings being made. The ingredients may be good, but everything goes through the chef," Giannakopoulos concluded pointing to Radonjic's side. 

Currently in his fifth consecutive season and seventh overall with Panathinaikos, center Giorgos Papagiannis has been named the team's captain after Ioannis Papapetrou's departure for Partizan NIS Belgrade this summer.

The 25-year-old big man, who first came to the Greens in 2014 and whose contract expires next June, will try to make up for lost ground, as PAO failed to win any domestic titles last season after a 24-year-long streak. 

Credit Vangelis Stolis

"Yes, it was a dream of mine since I was young to be Panathinaikos' captain at some point," Papagiannis admitted.

"But there is also a lot of responsibility and I'm aware of it," he went on to stress.

"Last season was not a success and I would like that to change, starting with me so that we win as many trophies as we can."

Show comments
Thank you for reporting a comment

Add comment

We have the right to remove comments which are offensive, contains abusive language, or violates other rules of the website