Panathinaikos OPAP Athens comes off another strong season in all competitions. Things did not start well for the Greens; they won only six of their first 14 EuroLeague regular-season games. Panathinaikos decided to part ways with head coach Xavi Pascual and in his place hired Hall of Fame Coach Rick Pitino. The team kept winning at home, but struggled on the road and by Round 22, Panathinaikos had a 9-13 record and was in a tough situation in the standings. However, the team went on to win seven of its next eight games, including road wins against Herbalife Gran Canaria, Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul and CSKA Moscow - the latter on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Nick Calathes, who earned EuroLeague MVP for March honors. That outstanding run allowed Panathinaikos to finish the regular season in sixth place. Real Madrid was its playoff opponent and Los Blancos ended up sweeping Panathinaikos, but Calathes was chosen to the All-EuroLeague First Team. The Greek powerhouse lost its seventh consecutive playoff series but bounced back in domestic competitions. It won the Greek Cup in February by downing PAOK Thessaloniki in the final and went undefeated in the Greek League playoffs to claim its second consecutive title. Panathinaikos will have the same ambitious goals in the 2019-20 season - to be the team to beat in Greece and challenge for a Final Four spot.
A giant not only in Greek sports but also in continental basketball, Panathinaikos stands as the mightiest force in the EuroLeague since the dawn of the Final Four era in 1988, with a whopping six EuroLeague titles won between 1996 and 2011. The Greens first took charge of Greek basketball with 12 domestic titles over a 17-year stretch between 1967 and 1984. After a dry period, Panathinaikos bounced back to become a top team in Europe. In 1996, Panagiotis Giannakis, Dominique Wilkins and Fragiskos Alvertis came together and secured the first EuroLeague title by a Greek team. A few years later, the club started a new streak of league crowns. Panathinaikos lifted its second EuroLeague trophy in 2000, led by head coach Zeljko Obradovic, in Thessaloniki, Greece, with a win over Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Greens won it all again in 2002 by upsetting Virtus in Bologna. It soon clicked again for Panathinaikos as it knocked off defending champion CSKA by 2 points in the 2007 championship game – an instant classic played in Athens. Two years later in Berlin, the Greens put their name on the title once more with CSKA falling by 2 points in another of the most exciting finals in basketball history. In 2010-11, EuroLeague MVP and Final Four MVP Dimitris Diamantidis shined as Panathinaikos turned away defending champ Regal FC Barcelona in the playoffs and then downed Maccabi Electra in Barcelona for their sixth EuroLeague crown. During the 2011-12 season, Panathinaikos lost a tough EuroLeague semifinal and saw its streak of nine straight Greek League championships come to an end. That season also marked the end of the Coach Obradovic era. Panathinaikos was one win away from returning to the Final Four in both 2013 and 2014, but stayed strong in Greece with back-to-back league and cup doubles. In the 2014-15 season, Panathinaikos won the Greek Cup, made it to the Greek League finals and reached the EuroLeague Playoffs for the fifth consecutive season before losing to CSKA Moscow in four games. The Greens returned to the EuroLeague Playoffs in 2016 and lifted the Greek Cup trophy for the fifth consecutive season; however, Olympiacos prevailed in the Greek League finals. Two years ago, Panathinaikos was ousted by eventual champion Fenerbahce Istanbul in the EuroLeague Playoffs, but shook it off and finished the season in style with another Greek double. In the last two seasons, Real Madrid stopped Panathinaikos in the playoffs, but again the Greens bounced back to take two more Greek League titles; its 27 Greek crowns are more than double any other club! A strong, ambitious and competitive Panathinaikos is a safe bet again this season.
|Euroleague: 1996, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2011
|Intercontinental Cup: 1996
|Greek National League: 38 titles; 1920-21, 1945-46, 1946-47, 1949-50, 1950-51, 1953-54, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1966-67, 1968-69, 1970-71, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75, 1976-77, 1979-80, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1983-84, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19
|Greek National Cup: 19 titles; 1979, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1993, 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019