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2000 – European Champion (Thessaloniki, 18-20/4)

Four years after the Paris triumph, Panathinaikos return to the top of European basketball inside the Greek borders this time, since the second Euroleague trophy was won at the then newly-built PAOK indoors gym at Pylaia, Thessaloniki. Having already established themselves permanently at the throne of the Greek championship, on April 20, 2000 the “Greens” put on the crown of European champions for the second time in their history.

Coincidence had it that the course to the top began once again with a game against Zalgiris Kaunas, that Panathinaikos defeated both away and at home in Group B, during the first competition round (82-66, 86-82). Then followed the games versus Tofas Bursa (64-59, 79-74), Olimpija Ljublijana (100-80, 86-71), Real Madrid (96-69, 66-63) and Alba Berlin (73-54, 70-72). In the second round, Panathinaikos faced the Red Star (76-61, 67-58), Cholet (85-50, 68-81) and PAΟΚ (77-69, 71-75). With a 13-3 run (1246-1084) Panathinaikos ended the round ranking first in the Group, thus ensuring the home advantage for the next games. In the Top-16 round, PAO eliminated Buducnost (2-1, 65-59, 64-77, 78-61) and Cibona Zagreb in the Top-8 round without any losses (2-0, 73-62, 69-63), thus qualifying to the Thessaloniki Final Four in flying colors.

Panathinaikos prevailed over Efes Pilsen in the semifinal by 81-71 with ημιτελικό με τους Bodiroga, Rebraca, Alvertis achieving a double-digit scoring point and without practically being threatened by the Turks at any point of the game. The final was clearly a far more difficult case, since Maccabi Tel Aviv put up a fight to the bitter end. Every Panathinaikos player helped, Zeljko Rebraca clinched the Final Four MVP title, but the player most likely to be remembered by most people is Oden Katash. The Israeli was emotionally charged with the mere possibility of having to face the team with which he grew up in the basketball world, but when push came to shove he got up and made a decisive successful shot, in front of the Maccabi fans stand nonetheless, who gave him a standing ovation at the end of the game! The final score of 73-67 also gave the Panathinaikos fans the signal to start the celebrations for their second European Championship title and the first of the Zeljko Obradovic’s era with the “clover” in his first year at the steering wheel of the “Greens”.


Panathinaikos-Efes Pilsen 81-71 (41-33)

Panathinaikos (Obradovic): Bodiroga 22, Rebraca 15, Alvertis 11, Rogers 9, Gentile 7, Katash 5, Fotsis 5, Burke 4, Koch 3

Efes Pilsen (Ataman): Turkoglu 15, Mulaomerovic 14, Besok 13, Drobnjak 11, Kutluay 8, Winslow 4, Onan 3, Vekiloglu 3

Maccabi Tel Aviv-Barcelona 65-51 (38-22)

Maccabi Tel Aviv (Gerson): Huffman 24, Brisker 15, Sheffer 12, McDonald 5, Sharp 5, Henefeld 2, Comegys 2

Barcelona (Reneses): Goldwire 13, De La Fuente 10, Alston 7, Dueñas 6, Gurovic 5, Rentzias 4, Elson 2, Gasol 2, Navarro 2, Rodriguez

3rd Place Game

Efes Pilsen-Barcelona 75-69

Efes Pilsen (Ataman): Besok 22, Drobnjak 16, Turkoglu 15, Kutluay 14, Mulaomerovic 5, Onan 3, Winslow

Barcelona (Reneses): Rentzias 29, Gurovic 13, Alston 9, De La Fuente 6,  Goldwire 4,  Elson 4, Digbeu 2 Gasol 2, Rodriguez


Panathinaikos-Maccabi Tel Aviv 73-67 (36-36)

Panathinaikos (Obradovic): Gentile 3, Alvertis 4, Bodiroga 9, Rogers 4, Rebraca 20, Katash 17, Fotsis 9, Burke 7, Koch

Maccabi Tel Aviv (Gerson): McDonald 11, Sharp 5, Henefeld, Huffman 26, Comegys 3, Brisker 13, Jamsey 3, Sheffer 6, Shelef, Popa