Ex-Louisville Coach Rick Pitino's Panathinaikos Wins Greek Cup Championship

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2019

Panathinaikos coach Rick Pitino looks on during a Euroleague basketball match between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos in Piraeus near Athens, on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press

Former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino led Panathinaikos to the Greek Cup Championship with a 79-73 win over PAOK in Sunday's final.

Pitino, who was fired by the Cardinals in 2017 after the program was named in the FBI investigation into corruption and fraud in college basketball, was hired by the Greece squad in December partially through the season.

Panathinaikos advanced to the finals after semifinals opponent Olympiakos forfeited by refusing to come out for the second half. Head coach David Blatt was protesting the officiating in the game, but the official result became a 20-0 final.

Pitino's team took advantage, adding to the resume of the Basketball Hall of Fame coach. He also has two NCAA titles, one with Kentucky and one with Louisville.

Meanwhile, Panathinaikos has an impressive roster of former NCAA and some NBA talent. Former Florida star Nick Calathes was named MVP of the final, while Sean Kilpatrick, Keith Langford, James Gist and Konstantinos Mitoglou all contributed at major colleges.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo, older brother of NBA All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo, and 2016 NBA lottery pick Georgios Papagiannis are also on the roster.

This squad came together under Pitino to bring home the country's championship.

Panathinaikos will now try to find more success in the Euroleague, although the squad is just 9-13 so far in the regular season.

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