Panathinaikos has a done deal with EuroBasket standout Mateusz Ponitka

2022-09-21T17:04:55+00:00 2022-09-22T13:13:19+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

21/Sep/22 17:04

Mateusz Ponitka will be part of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague after all

By Stavros Barbarousis/

Previously slated to start the 2022-23 season at UnaHotels Reggio Emilia and the Basketball Champions League, Mateusz Ponitka will instead launch the sixth personal campaign in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.

After initiating talks, Panathinaikos OPAP has a done deal with the Polish forward, according to Eurohoops sources. His contract with Reggio Emilia was bought out and he formally signed a new contract leading him to the team based in Athens. He is expected to be announced as a new player of Panathinaikos soon.

Apart from the Greens showing interest to secure his services, Cazoo Baskonia and Virtus Segafredo Bologna were among other EuroLeague sides linked to Ponitka in recent days.

Ponitka, 29, attracted the attention of multiple teams by producing brilliant performances in the 2022 EuroBasket. Averaging 13.4 points, 5.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 0.2 blocks per contest, including the fourth triple-double in EuroBasket history in the triumph versus Slovenia, he carried Poland to fourth place in the final rankings. But him missing out on offers from EuroLeague teams was a running theme commented by teammates and head coach Igor Milicic throughout the solid run.

Looking to remove himself from the pool of free agents back in August, he signed a three-month contract with an option for the remainder of the 2022-23 season with Italian side Reggio Emilia. However, he will not be returning to the Champions League.

A veteran of 92 games played in EuroLeague, Ponitka put in 4.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.1 blocks per game over 20 appearances with Zenit in the 2021-22 edition of Europe’s premier club continental competition. Last March, he parted ways with the team based in Saint Petersburg in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war.

Earlier in the offseason, Panathinaikos picked up Andrew Andrews, Marius Grigonis, Arturas Gudaitis, Giorgos and Panagiotis Kalaitzakis, Paris Lee, Derrick Williams, and Nate Wolters, besides hiring play-caller Dejan Radonjic. Adding Ponitka will complete the 2022-23 roster.