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28.01.2009 · 00:00

EL Top 16:Panathinaikos – Partizan, Thursday 19.45

EL Top 16: Panathinaikos – Partizan, Thursday 19.45 CET BC Partizan starts Euroleague TOP 16 campaign against Panathinaikos in Athens on Thursday. The Black and Whites are to departure for Athens on Wednesday evening 19.50, instead of Thursday as it was considered first because of the Athens airport strike that is over now. Euroleague 2007 Champions are the biggest Greek club with most trophies. Panathinaikos was established in 1922, and they have won 29 National League titles and 11 Greek Cups since those competitions were established in 1946. Panathinaikos also won as many as 4 Euroleague titles, 2 in the last decade of previous century and two in this century. Run by Željko Obradović for last ten years, Panathinaikos is dominant in Greece winning 9 National League titles and 3 Euroleague titles in that period. Panathinaikos (Κ.Α.Ε. Παναθηναϊκός) plays their matches in Athens Olympic Hall ( capacity 18900 seats ) BC Partizan Belgrade is the last club to stop "The Greens" get on top of Europe eliminating them in Euroleague Top 16 in Belgrade, after suffering three straight narrow defeats. Panathinaikos played this season group campaign against two perennial threats to reach Final 4, Barcelona Regal and Montepaschi Sienna. They suffered two defeats from Barcelona (90:66 in 'Blau Grana' and 87:76 at home) and one in Sienna (82:77) finishing third in group with the 7-3 score. They beat Žalgiris (78:51, 80:69), Nancy (80:70, 83:69) and Prokom (67:60, 75:53) twice and Montepaschi (81:76) once. Seven out of eight Euroleague winners who play in PAO, have done that in Panathinaikos' green jersey and the team is now stronger for Partizan's duo Peković- Kecman. They are dominant under hoops with the duo Mike Batist – Nikola Peković. The American scores 13.8 points and 5.8 rebounds whereas Mentenegro representative in "the Green" scores 10.9 points and 3 rebounds per match. Greeks Antonis Fotzis and Kostas Tzartzaris who are also members of 'centre squad' of the team make 11.9 points and 7 rebounds per match together. Dušan Šakota who is also in roster scores 4 points and 2 rebs per game. Lithuanian Šarunas Jasikevičius (8,6 p, 2,7 as) makes playmaking duo with Greek Dimitros Diamantidis (10.4 p, 4.9 sk, 3.6 as) who is statistically MVP of the team. Guards are Vasilis Spanulis (8.7 p, 2.3 sk, 3.4 as) and American Drew Nicholas (5.5 p) playing in bad shape, our Dušan Kecman, Nikos Hatzivretas and Stratos Peperoglou. Panathinaikos is an experienced team led by Željko Obradović who is an European with most won titles: a record six Champions Cups- Euroleagues (with four different teams), two Saporta Cups, domestic league championships and cups, World and European titles with the National Team of Yugoslavia where he was the head coach from 1996 until September 2000. His team is now expected to progress in form and they have strong ambitions to advance to Final 4. Partizan and Panathinaikos have played 8 matches in last seven years in Euroleague and Greeks are better with 6 wins and two defeats, one in Belgarde and one in Athens. Match: Panathinaikos – Partizan will be played on Thursday at 19.45 CET.