The duel of the best Greek powerhouses in the Euroleague this century is one of the most awaited events in the whole continent. Maybe only the derby between F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid can gather more fans in front of their TVs than a classical battle Olympiacos – Panathinaikos. Now, with the club from Piraeus relegated in the 2nd league, the Euroleague clash of the Greek titans will be even more exciting.
In previous articles, we have discussed the rosters’ changes operated this summer by both teams. Let’s see now how is the situation of the local players for each squad:
- has got rid of Giorgos Bogris, Evangelos Mantzaris and Dimitris Agravanis who had very poor contributions with the team last season.
- has kept veteran Vassilis Spanoulis (maybe for his last season and the very possibility to be crowned as Euroleague all-time scorer), Georgios Printezis and Kostas Papanikolaou. Sasha Vezenkov will continue with the Reds but let’s not forget that he is Bulgarian-Cypriot, not Greek.
- at the additions chapter, Olympiacos has done nothing special. They have signed Antonis Koniaris and Vassilis Charalampopoulos, two young decent players but who won’t make miracles in the Euroleague in a team invaded by American mercenaries
- they parted ways only with some kids of the club, maintaining untouched the core of Greek players of the last season: Nick Calathes, Nikos Pappas, Konstantinos Mitoglou, Georgios Papagiannis, Ioannis Papapetrou and Ian Vougioukas
- their only addition is the veteran guard Ioannis Athinaiou, who can bring some experience on the court
The comparison between the Greek players of these 2 rivals is revealing an important advantage for PAO who has by far more strong local products. Only Printezis and Papanikolaou can face the Greens in a real derby. Spanoulis is too old and was hit by injuries and the other Greek players of Olympiacos are not Euroleague level. If the derby would be only with the local players, PAO would smash Olympiacos. I am curious to see how the foreigners’ contribution of both teams will influence the clash.