Greens go from island to island across Europe


Panathinaikos will go island-hopping this week, as on Monday it won at one of Europe’s easternmost courts, and three days later, on Thursday night, it will face Gran Canaria on European basketball’s westernmost outpost.

Rick Pitino coached a depleted side, without key players such as Nick Calathes, DeShaun Thomas and Ioannis Papapetrou, but Panathinaikos extended its perfect record in the league in the match postponed from a few weeks earlier, downing bottom club Kolossos 88-78 on Rhodes.

Forward Dinos Mitoglou led the Greens to their 16th win in as many league games scoring 16 points, collecting 15 rebounds and distributing five assists.

Kolossos lost on the debut of coach Stergios Koufos and has a mountain to climb to stay up. Notably its experienced center, Dimitris Mavroidis, joined the game early in the second half, after playing the previous day with the national team in Germany and flying back to Athens and then to Rhodes. He even arrived late at the court straight from the island’s airport, due to a flight delay, and got to play for nine minutes and score three points.

On Thursday Panathinaikos visits the Canary Islands in Spain to play Gran Canaria for the Euroleague, in what it aspires to signal its return to away wins in the run-in of the regular season so as to make the play-offs.