Tribute to the champs!

May 30, 2007 by Print
Tribute to the champs!
Zelimir Obradovic - Panathinaikos tribute 2006-07 
Zeljko Obradovic - PanathinaikosZeljko Obradovic
The most successful coach in European history did it again. Zeljko Obradovic lifted his sixth Euroleague trophy by providing yet another coaching exhibition, keeping his team focused all weekend, whether the theme was defense in the semifinals or offense in the title game. Obradovic's third Euroleague title with Panathinaikos (2000, 2002, 2007), adde dto previous ones with Partizan (1992), Joventut (1994 and Real Madrid (1995), make him already an all-time great among world coaches at age 47.
Dimitrios Diamantidis - Panathinaikos tribute 2006-07 Dimitrios Diamantidis -  Panathinaikos - Final Four Athens 2007
Dimitrios Diamantidis
One player who sealed his status as a Euroleague superstar at the 2007 Final Four was Dimitris Diamantidis. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year became an All-Euroleague first team selection and earned MVP honors in the title game, when he posted 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals with only one missed shot, a free throw, the whole game. Diamantidis now enters the prime of his career ready to lead the Greens into the future.
Ramunas Siskauskas - Panathinaikos tribute 2006-07
Ramunas Siskauskas - Panathinaikos Ramunas Siskauskas
After fighting to remain calm before the final, Ramunas Siskauskas was one of happiest players in the Panathinaikos post-game celebration. Siskauskas, the Euroleague MVP in April, had plenty of reasons to be joyful. He led the champs with 20 points and tied the record for most free throws made (12) in a Euroleague final. He rounded out a perfect game with 4 rebounds, 5 assists and as many as 11 fouls drawn in a game-high 37 minutes, enough to record the highest index rating, 30, in the final.
Milos Vujanic - Panathinaikos tribute 2006-07 
Milos Vujanic - PanathinaikosMilos Vujanic
He had to battle injuries in the recent past, but Milos Vujanic can look to a very bright future, as he proved in the Euroleague final. Vujanic became a decisive factor in 18 minutes off the Panathinaikos bench, scoring 12 points that included 9 of 9 free throws. At age 26, Vujanic has already been a Euroleague top scorer and helped two different teams reach the Euroleague final. In scoring his season high against CSKA, Vujanic showed he is made for big games and ready for more.
Sani Becirovic - Panathinaikos tribute 2006-07 
Sani Becirovic -  Panathinaikos - Final Four Athens 2007Sani Becirovic
Five years after having lost a Euroleague final against Panathinaikos, Sani Becirovic was on the right side this time as he helped the Greens win their fourth continental crown. Becirovic was an offensive spark for Panathinaikos throughout Final Four weekend, scoring a team-high 15 points in the semifinal against Tau Ceramica and his team's first 4 points in what became an offensive-minded final with CSKA. Another player who overcame serious injury, Becirovic got his first Euroleague crown at age 26.
Mike Batiste - Panathinaikos tribute 2006-07 
Mike Batiste -  Panathinaikos - Final Four Athens 2007Mike Batiste
He earned monthly MVP honors to start the season and fought injuries through its middle, but when it mattered most, Mike Batiste showed who was boss. Batiste led Panathinaikos in its semifinal victory against Tau Ceramica with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and then added 12 points on 6-of-9 two-point shooting against CSKA. His turnaround jumper in the last minute of the final will go down as the game's critical shot: when Panathinaikos needed Batiste most, he came through like a champ.
Dejan Tomasevic - Panathinaikos tribute 2006-07 
Dejan Tomasevic - Panathinaikos - Final Four 2007Dejan Tomasevic
With only one empty spot in his trophy case, Dejan Tomasevic completed his collection in style at the Final Four. Tomasevic shined in the title game against CSKA, scoring 16 points on 6-for-9 two-point shooting in 21 minutes and thus became one of four players to win both the Euroleague and the ULEB Cup titles. Those are in addition to eight national championships in three different countries for five different teams. In short, Tomasevic cemented his status as a Euroleague basketball legend.
Demos Dikoudis - Panathinaikos tribute 2006-07 
Demos Dikoudis -  Panathinaikos - Final Four Athens 2007Demos Dikoudis
Panathinaikos needed a Final Four defensive anchor near the basket and found one in Demos Dikoudis, who was a main factor in limiting Tau Ceramica's big men to less than half their usual output in the semifinal. Dikoudis thrived with 7 points and 7 rebounds against Tau. His defense was key again in the final, when Panathinaikos kept CSKA's inside scorers completely in check, making Dikoudis one of the most important players in the return to glory of Panathinaikos.
Nikos Hatzivrettas - Panathinaikos tribute 2006-07 
Nikos Hatzivrettas -  Panathinaikos - Final Four Athens 2007Nikos Hatzivrettas
Perhaps no player so important to the Panathinaikos title effort called less attention to himself, but Nikos Hatzivrettas was crucial on both ends of the court before he finally won the Euroleague trophy in his third Final Four and against his former team, CSKA Moscow. He played the second-most minutes for the champs in the title game, finishing with 10 points while hitting 2 of 3 shots from downtown and 4 of 4 at the free throw line. Once again, Hatzivrettas was a key soldier in the Panathinaikos army.

Fragiskos Alvertis - Panathinaikos tribute 2006-07 
Fragiskos Alvertis - Panathinaikos - semifinal - Final Four Athens 2007Fragiskos Alvertis

Already a certified icon after 17 seasons with Panathinaikos, when Frankie Alvertis lifted his fourth Euroleague trophy, he set a record with the most titles of any player in the 20-year Final Four era. Alvertis was without question his team's leader all season, both off the court and with timely contributions as a reserve, as he showed with 5 points near halftime of the semifinal against Tau Ceramica. And when the title was in hand, only one player could lead the celebration with his hometown fans: Alvertis.
Tony Delk - Panathinaikos tribute 2006-07
Tony Delk - Panathinaikos Tony Delk

He was not expected to play in the Final Four, but Tony Delk was there, ready to help Panathinaikos when called upon. That call came in the semifinal, when he took the floor for 7 solid minutes, more than he had played in any game for six weeks. Delk's biggest contributions had come when Panathinaikos started the season undefeated through 11 games, during which he ranked among the team's top scorers. With victory at the end, Delk joined the few players ever to win both NCAA and Euroleague titles.
Robertas Javtokas - Panathinaikos tribute 2006-07 
Robertas Javtokas - PanathinaikosRobertas Javtokas
While he is among four players to win both the Euroleague and the ULEB Cup titles, almost no one can claim such a remarkable comeback to the European elite as Robertas Javtokas, who suffered a life-threatening motorcycle accident early in the decade. Although he played just 3 minutes of the semifinal against Tau Ceramica, his 2 blocked shots in that span - including a spectacular one running back to the basket from the corner - showed why Javtokas, at age 27, has the stuff of a champion.
Kostas Tsartsaris - Panathinaikos tribute 2006-07 
Kostas Tsartsaris - PanathinaikosKostas Tsartsaris
Despite being slowed by a last-minute injury, Kostas Tsartsaris managed to get on the court during the Final Four, although his playing time wasn't enough to show how important he had been throughout the season. Until then, Tsartsaris had started more games than all but two other Panathinaikos players and played more minutes than all but four. As the player with the second-longest tenure on Panathinaikos, a lesser role at the end could not diminish his deservedness to share fully in the glory.

Tribute to Panathinaikos
Panathinaikos is Euroleague champ!
Final Four team page: Panathinaikos
Slide Show
VIDEO: The Day of the Greens | ARCHIVE
F4 MVP: Dimitris Diamantidis, Panathinaikos
Media Reaction to Athens Final Four
Greens honored by Republic President
Panathinaikos meets Greek prime minister
Champion interview: Zeljko Obradovic
Champion interview: Dimitris Diamantidis
Champion profile: Fragiskos Alvertis
Final Report: Panathinaikos 93-91 CSKA
Semifinal Report: Panathinaikos 67-53 Tau