Olympia in Athens, Messina “Tough City Basketball Tournament”

Preparation for the season is officially recorded in the Athens tournament file, named after Pavlos Gianakopoulos, the historical owner of Panathinaikos. So far, Olympia has played two fights and four friendlies with five wins and one defeat, but always in the half of the standings. In Athens, the level of difficulty will be raised to the max – only Euroleague teams participate – but at the same time the team will be in its current version. All the players returning from the European Championships are in Greece, including Johannes Voigtmann, who has just arrived from Germany after winning the European bronze medal last Sunday in Berlin. Athens was the team’s first training session at Olympia. Olympia faces Maccabi at 17:00 Italian time on Friday. And Saturday will play at 20:00 Italian, regardless of the result of the semi-finals. The only player who did not follow the team to Athens is Kevin Bangos, who stayed in Milan to treat a mild muscle strain.

“It’s a very important tournament because four Euroleague teams are taking part – as coach Ettore Messina says – or four contenders for a place in the playoffs, plus the title holders. It’s a competitive tournament in city basketball, we’ll play in a great environment when it’s full for sure helps Panathinaikos a lot. , a club in which I have the greatest respect for what it has built over the years. I would say unfortunately because I personally played and lost three European finals against Obradovic’s team and the Gianakopoulos family. Playing in this tournament will help us prepare for the start of a very difficult season.” Niccolo Meli, who participated in the official presentation of the tournament, confirmed how “After the end of the European Championship, when thinking about how it ended, I had a moment of depression, but aside from the jokes, this is the best way not to think about the past. We are all in the same situation. The majority of European players have passed Eurobasket’s commitment to the club’s activity.”

Olympia, who already participated in this tournament three years ago by winning it, after Maccabi, will face Saturday between Anadolu Efes, the European champion in office for two seasons, and Panathinaikos, the host. McCabe, while shining in the Euroleague qualifiers last season, changed a lot in the summer. Practically speaking, only John de Bartolomeo, Yves Ziff, and Roman Sorkin survived; Meanwhile, Jay Benigni and Jake Cohen are back home. The news has moved in the European market: the playmakers are Lorenzo Braun (recently of the European Championship victory played with Spain and therefore absent) and Wade Baldwin; Then came Austin Hollins, Daron Hilliard, Derek Williams, Alex Potheers and Josh Nybo, all with Euroleague experience. Bonnie Coulson, winger, Ravi Minko and Jarrell Martin are freshmen in the competition. The latter boasts short stints in the NBA in Memphis. Maccabi, coached by Oded Katash, played in Paris with the local team and with Asvel Velorpan, then beat Promethes last Tuesday.

The Panathinaikos host, with new coach Dejan Radungic, Georgios Papagiannis, has recovered after being deployed from the European Championships with Greece, while Marius Grigounis, who is here, is unavailable due to a physical issue. The rest of the team including new members such as Nate Wolters, Paris Lee, Arturas Gudaitis, Derrick Williams and Kalaitzakis, were already in the Cagliari tournament as there was no head-to-head confrontation with Olimpia. Efes will not have Shane Larkin (injured), but will have the two Turkish players who attended the European Championships (shooter Tuncer and winger Siber) in addition to Achille Polonara and Amat Mbaye in the role of strong striker, Ante Zycic from the middle and especially Will Cleburne. Vasa Micic was also in the European Championships with Serbia, but he will be available as Rodrigue Popoa, Elijah Bryant, Bryant Dunston and Tibor Bliss. All of them have already played against Rier Venezia in a friendly match this week.