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Panathinaikos inks Pekovic, brings back Fotsis
June 24, 2008
Perennial Greek League champion and Euroleague powerhouse Panathinaikos has started to get ready for the upcoming season by signing center Nikola Pekovic and forward Antonis Fotsis to respective multi-year deals. Pekovic (210, 22) is one of the best young centers in the world. He arrives from Partizan Igokea, where he had a dominant Euroleague season. Pekovic averaged 16.4 points and 6.9 rebounds in 23 Euroleague games, earning November MVP and All-Euroleague second team honors. It was been a breakout season for Pekovic, who also helped his team to win the Adriatic League and reach the Euroleague Quarterfinal Playoffs, knocking off Panathinaikos in its Top 16 group. Partizan lost against Tau Ceramica in the playoffs, but was one win away from its first Final Four appearance in a decade. In his three seasons with Partizan, Pekovic has won back-to-back Adriatic League titles. He will be presented by the club on Wednesday in Athens.
Meanwhile, Fotsis (208, 27) returns to the Greens after five seasons elsewhere. He arrives from Dynamo Moscow, his team of the last three seasons. Fotsis averaged 10.3 points and 6.2 rebounds in 17 ULEB Cup games last season, helping Dynamo to finish third overall. He won the ULEB Cup title with Dynamo in 2006 and broke the all-time Euroleague Basketball rebounding record by pulling down 24 in a Top 16 game against Benetton Treviso. Fotsis played in Panathinaikos for five not consecutive seasons between 1997 to 2003, helping the Greens to win as many Greek League titles in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003. He also played a key role in the 2000 Euroleague final, helping Panathinaikos to down Maccabi Tel Aviv in Thessaloniki for the crown. Fotsis has also played for the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA, as well as for Real Madrid in Spain. He helped Madrid to win the Spanish League title in 2005. Fotsis is also a regular member of the Greek national team, with whom he won a gold medal at EuroBasket 2005 and reached the World Championships final in 2006.
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