Panathinaikos Athens announced on Friday that it has signed small forward Mateusz Ponitka for the coming season. Ponitka (1.98 meters, 29 years old) comes off an impressive summer in which he led the Polish national team to the semifinal at EuroBasket 2022. He averaged 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.6 steals at the tournament and was at his best with a triple-double of 26 points, 16 boards and 10 assists in a quarterfinal upset of Slovenia. Ponitka had agreed to terms with Reggio Emilia for the coming season earlier in the summer and Panathinaikos had to negotiate his release from the Italian club.
Panathinaikos acquires small forward Ponitka
Ponitka spent the past three seasons with Zenit St Petersburg and averaged 4.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in the EuroLeague last season. He also helped Zenit win the VTB United League championship with averages of 5.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game. This will be Ponitka’s fourth EuroLeague side after playing a season each in the competition with Asseco Prokom and Stelmet Zielona Gora of his native Poland early in his career.
A product of the youth system at Kasprowiczanka Ostrow, Ponitka made his professional debut with Tempcold AZS Politechnika. He has also played for Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in Russia, Iberostar Tenerife in Spain, Telenet Ostend in Belgium and Pinar Karsiyaka in Turkey. He was chosen as the EuroCup Rising Star and named to the All-EuroCup Second Team after leading Zielona Gora to the EuroCup Quarterfinals that season. Ponitka has won both the Polish League crown and the Belgium League championship twice, lifted the Belgian Cup two times and captured the Intercontinental Cup in 2017 with Tenerife. He has also been a regular with the Polish national team.