Giannakopoulos drama an unwelcome distraction for Panathinaikos
A poor run of form for Panathinaikos in the EuroLeague has come at a time the club’s owner is at odds with the competition’s executives…
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A heavy defeat against Real Madrid on Thursday night saw Panathinaikos’ losing streak in the EuroLeague stretch to a season-high three games at a time the Greek Champions were supposed to be closing-in on home advantage berth in the playoffs.
A poor run of form has seen Panathinaikos slip out of a home advantage berth and at least a game back of reclaiming a home advantage berth, a reality that is even more worrying considering Panathinaikos’ current five-game losing streak away from OAKA.
Panathinaikos’ losses haven’t been one-sided, though the latter half of the game against Real Madrid certainly wasn’t a performance Panathinaikos are proud of. Instead, it seems the on-going drama featuring Panathinaikos’ owner, Dimitris Giannakopoulos, and EuroLeague executives has begun to take its toll on the club’s performances.
All this comes despite a 17-0 start to the Greek Basket League season as Panathinaikos appear to have crumbled under the pressure of crunch time in the EuroLeague with key clashes against Fenerbahce, Olympiacos, and the aforementioned Real Madrid not going to plan for the Trifylli.
Coincidentally the stumbles of the club have come at a time the microscope has been on the actions of Giannakopoulos and his conduct, which appears to have been a distraction as it coincides with Panathinaikos’ stumbles on the continent.
With a 2-6 record in their last eight games, Panathinaikos have slipped from a two-way tie with Olympiacos for second in the league to a tie for sixth place with home court advantage at risk considering the difficulty of the remaining schedules for Real Madrid and Zalgiris Kaunas.
Panathinaikos, and Giannakopoulos, made it clear the club wasn’t satisfied with how things ended in the EuroLeague last season and that this campaign would not only focus on domestic success but also adding to the club’s haul of six EuroLeague titles.
Of course, the postseason looks more of certainty for Panathinaikos than a probability; however, with the club lingering within the lower seeds heading into the playoffs the road to the Final Four has been made considerably more difficult for the club.