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GREENS, Saras together again
September 27, 2011
The Turkish Airlines Euroleague's most successful modern club and its winningest active player are together again after defending champion Panathinaikos Athens announced the signing on Monday of legendary point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius for his second stint with the Greens. "Saras"(1.93 meters, 35 years old), a four-time Euroleague champ, played three seasons for the Greens between 2007 and 2010 and helped the club win the 2009 Euroleague title. Panathinaikos also collected three Greek League and two Greek Cup crowns during his time there. Jasikevicius finished last season in Turkey with Fenerbahce Ulker, whom he helped win that country's championship. Saras began the 2010-11 campaign with Lietuvos Rytas in his native Lithuania. Jasikevicius averaged 7.3 points and was sixth in the Euroleague regular season with 4.3 assists per game as a reserve for Rytas.
Jasikevicius started his professional career with Rytas in 1998-99, after which he played one season for Union Olimpija of Slovenia. His next stop was Barcelona, with whom Jasikevicius won his and the club's first Euroleague title in 2003. Jasikevicius moved the next season to Maccabi Tel Aviv, where in 2004 and 2005 he was part of the only back-to-back championship team in the Euroleague since 1991. Jasikevicius was MVP of that 2005 Final Four, which made him the only player in European history to three-peat while playing for two clubs. He later added his fourth title with Panathinaikos as the team's second leading scorer and top assist-giver.
For his career, Jasikevicius ranks among the all-time Euroleague statistical leaders. He is 12th on the all-time scoring list with 1,905 points, ninth with 264 three-pointer made, sixth with 485 free throws made and fourth with 578 assists. Jasikevicius enters his 10th Euroleague season as the competition's all-time most-accurate free-throw shooter, at 92.03%. Jasikevicius is a two-time All-Euroleague first team selection. In 2008, he was honored as one of the 50 legends of the past 50 years of European club basketball. In 2010, he was named to the Euroleague All-Decade Team. Saras has won a total of eight domestic championships in Spain, Israel, Greece and Turkey and seven more national cups in Slovenia, Spain, Israel and Greece. As a member of the Lithuanian national team, Jasikevicius won the gold medal at EuroBasket 2003, a bronze at EuroBasket 2007 and a bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia.
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