Olympiacos Piraeus announced on Sunday that Greek icon Panagiotis Giannakis has taken over the bench after Pini Gershon was dismissed the day before. The 49-year-old Giannakis also serves as the Greek national team coach. His arrival was made official after Giannakis ran the team's Sunday evening practice. His first game in charge will be a Greek Cup showdown on Wednesday against Aris TT Bank.
On Tuesday, Giannakis addressed the press for the first time as Olympiacos head coach. "I feel very honored because Olympiacos trusts me to take over the team and to lead it to the best possible results," Giannakis said. "Now we have to work hard and try to reach all our goals, which are still open. The team has talent and potential and I am here to give my best for a better future. Olympiacos deserves to return on the top and I am dedicated to this target. My only advice to the players is to stay focused, to work without panic and pressure and to have every day a better practice than the previous."
Giannakis had a legendary career as a player, during which he won his country's first Euroleague crown, a European national title, a Cup Winners' Cup and more than dozen Greek League and Greek Cup titles. He played for Ionikos Nikaia, Aris, Panionios, Panathinaikos and the Greek national team during his 25-year career. As a coach, he guided Greece to the crown at the 2005 EuroBasket and to the silver medal at 2006 World Championships in Japan. He last coached at the club level for Maroussi Athens between 2002 and 2006.