Panathinaikos Returns to Glory with European Championship Win under Ergin Ataman’s Leadership

The Athenians, reinforced in the off-season by expensive recruitment, returned to their glorious past under the leadership of the Turk Ergin Ataman, already European champion with Efes Istanbul (2021 and 2022), putting an end to a long journey through the desert after their six crowns accumulated between the end of the 1990s and the dawn of the 2000s.

Their first final since their 2011 coronation was a good one, just a few months after an in-depth renewal of their squad. Eleven new players have joined the Greens, and not just any players. Between the ex-leader of the rival Olympiacos, Kostas Sloukas (24 pts Sunday) or the French interior Mathias Lesort (17 pts, 6 rebounds) designated in the best five of the 2023 season, the owner Dimitrios Giannakopoulos does not didn’t think twice.

Kostas Sloukas, the strongman of Pana

“Panathinaikos has something more,” Madrid technician Chus Mateo warned the day before. This extra thing is Kostas Sloukas, a great leader of men, a born leader. »

The 34-year-old winger, abhorred when he was in Piraeus again last year, sent the “Pana” fans to seventh heaven with two supernatural three-point shots (76-71 then 79-71) to put his own three possessions in front with five minutes to go. For the 11th Final Four and his fourth European consecration in a personal capacity, Sloukas signed a flawless shooting (including 4/4 from three points).

With seven European champion titles, Panathinaikos is approaching the summit of European basketball: only CSKA Moscow (8) and Real Madrid (11) are now ahead of it.

Real players not skillful

For Real, the curse of the regular season leader has struck again. Since the introduction of the single pool in 2016 in the queen of club competitions in Europe, the first has never lifted the trophy.

Panathinaikos waited almost 24 minutes (out of 40) to lead (58-56) for the first time in this match.

With an insolent address behind the arc (50%) in the first half of the match, the Madrilenians almost missed everything after returning from the locker room (3/20), to the delight of double NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo came to support his brother Kostas, rotation player of “Pana”.

2024-05-26 21:14:07
#Basketball #Panathinaikos #European #champion #thirteen #years #coronation

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