The 2021-22 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season was one to forget for Panathinaikos BC Athens, as it finished with a 9-19 record and failed to make the playoffs for the second year in a row. There have been plenty of changes at OAKA Altion in the off-season, with Dejan Radonjic arriving as head coach and several additions having been made to the roster.
2022-23 Games to Watch: Panathinaikos Athens
Ahead of what it hopes will be a return to the knockout rounds this year, here are five Panathinaikos games to get excited about in the 2022-23 EuroLeague Regular Season.
Round 1: Generating excitement at OAKA
Although last season had plenty of low moments for Panathinaikos, one memorable match came against Real Madrid at OAKA towards the end of the campaign. Having lost comfortably in Madrid earlier in the season, Panathinaikos managed to win 87-86 on the back of a standout display by Georgios Papagiannis. Following an off-season that has seen several exciting players join the Greens, kicking off the new campaign with a win against Real would provide a big boost in confidence.
Round 6: Welcome again, Zeljko!
Zeljko Obradovic sat on Panathinaikos's bench for 13 years – between 1999 and 2012 – and led the team to an astonishing five EuroLeague titles. The current Partizan NIS Belgrade coach is still welcomed as a hero whenever he returns to OAKA, and that will certainly be the case when he is in town in Round 6. There is another storyline that will be followed closely, as Ioannis Papapetrou returns to take on his former team after leaving Panathinaikos for Partizan during the off-season.
Round 11: New signings head home
Panathinaikos brought in Lithuanian duo Marius Grigonis and Arturas Gudaitis this summer, which has generated a lot of excitement among the club's fan base. In early December, both players will get the chance to head back to Lithuania to face Zalgiris Kaunas. Grigonis suited up for Zalgiris between 2018-19 and 2020-21, while Gudaitis represented the club between 2013-14 and 2014-15. They will no doubt be looking to put on a show in front of their compatriots, but most importantly they have a Panathinaikos victory in their sights.
Round 27: Seeing some old friends
As the playoff race begins to heat up, Panathinaikos faces AS Monaco at Salle Gaston Medecin. This meeting will see new Panathinaikos signing Paris Lee come up against his former teammates from last season, so he will be determined to remind everyone at Monaco of his talents. Lee managed to form a good relationship on the court with Mike James, who had two stints with the Greens in the past and put up a combined 40 points in his two games against them last year.
Round 32: A derby with a lot on the line
In its penultimate road game of the season, Panathinaikos makes the short trip to take on archrivals Olympiacos Piraeus. The Reds were clearly superior during the 2021-22 season, doing the double over the Greens, but Coach Radonjic will be looking to change the script this time around. Panathinaikos recorded a road win at Olympiacos in the 2020-21 campaign and, with the playoffs just around the corner, a victory could set it up nicely ahead of the last two games of the season.