SPORTS

Panathinaikos advances

Frangiskos Alvertis came off the bench to lead Panathinaikos in scoring in Sunday’s 81-67 victory over Panionios, in the 10th round of the Greek Basketball League. Panathinaikos took advantage of leader AEK’s 69-63 defeat by Iraklis to close within one point. According to one retired wrestler, a star during his day, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Greece’s poor showing in Patras should not be attributed to any lack of ability in individual athletes, but to a lack of communication between them and their coaches during competition. Greek wrestlers don’t lack anything in the faculties of technique and fitness. Wrestling is a mental sport. The athlete must believe what he is told in the team’s corner. Our athletes don’t believe, said the veteran. I don’t know whether it’s possible for them to have their own exclusive coaches, but I do know that we are now at a crucial point before 2004, he added, referring to the countdown ahead of the Athens Olympics. In his post-competition comments, the national squad’s head coach, Aristidis Grigorakis, reacted against the criticism. We’ve won a total of six bronze medals at 46 world championships. Petros Galaktopoulos and Babis Cholidis won two apiece, Dimitris Avramis added a fifth medal in 1999, and Koutsioubas another, Grigorakis said, who added that some team members who did take part, such as Avramis, were hampered by injury, while others, including Costas Thanos, the bronze medalist at the Sydney Olympics, did not participate at all because of injury.