Panathinaikos surprises Real Madrid and wins the Euroleague Basketball

The Greeks beat the current defending European champion 95-80.

(AFP/VOZ MEDIA) Panathinaikos was proclaimed European basketball champion after beating the defending champions, Real Madrid , with great authority 95-80, this Sunday in the Euroleague final played in Berlin.

The Athens team, penultimate in the regular phase last year, invested a large amount of money in renewing almost its entire squad -11 new players-. A bet that helps him recover continental glory, 13 years after his last title.

Led by the volcanic Turkish coach Ergin Ataman, European champion with Efes Pilsen in 2021 and 2022, the Greens ended their long journey through the desert after the six crowns they achieved in the 1990s and 2000s.

The leaders this Sunday were the former helmsman of their great rival Olympiacos Kostas Sloukas, author of 24 points and a pair of consecutive triples in the last quarter that allowed his team to consolidate the advantage (79-71), and the French forward Mathias Lesort, with 17 points and six rebounds, included in the best quintet of the season.

Real Madrid, which had started in style with a first quarter in which it scored 36 points (to Panathinaikos' 25), began to deflate, especially in a third quarter in which it completely lost its aim from three-point range.

They improved somewhat in the last one, but Panathinaikos had found the way to victory and, encouraged from the front row by the Greek NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, whose brother Kostas plays for the Athenian team, did not stop.

With seven championship titles, Panathinaikos is closing in on the kings of European basketball: CSKA Moscow, which has not been able to participate in continental competitions since the invasion of Ukraine, has eight titles and Real Madrid eleven.

The white team faithfully fulfilled the curse of the regular season leader. Since the establishment of the single group in 2016, the top team has never managed to translate their performance into a title.

Before, in the game for third place, Olympiacos, last year's finalists, beat Fenerbahçe 87-84 with 20 points and 6 rebounds from their American forward Alec Peters.