A player who is intrinsically linked with the green jersey in the hearts and minds of all Panathinaikos’ fans, and all basketball fans at that. He is one of the top guards in the history of the club and Greek basketball in general. Takis (short for Panagiotis) Koroneos was born on October 8, 1953 and at age 17 was already celebrating his first title with the ‘clover’. He played for Panathinaikos from 1968 to 1985, winning during that time 11 Greek Championships (1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1984) and 3 Greek Cups (1979, 1982, and 1983). He left Panathinaikos in 1986, to compete for PAOK for a season, then transferred to Panionios (1987-89), only to return to the “Greens” in the 1989-90 season to finish his career playing for the team that he made history with.
This was the team that his has many stories to tell about, like the game between Panathinaikos and Cantù, when playing in the Apostolos Nikolaidis arena (a.k.a. “Hindu’s Tomb”), deprived of windows on one side back in those days, there was…. snow coming in the arena; this was something that made quite an impression on the Italians, but none whatsoever to Koroneos and his team-mates.
Panathinaikos to Koroneos and everyone else back then was something different, as his own words go to show: “We used to say that the best team we are going to face is the team we have on the other side of the court during practice. That was the level of practice we were having; and it was not the coach who was calling the practice: we were doing that on our own. And for every new kid that came to the team, all the old-guard players were breathing down his neck if he did not do that kind of practice. In other words, we would immediately start yelling at him “you are not running; you are not trying; you have to put in more effort!”… I remember some of the young guys telling us “we cannot do this anymore” and I used to reply to them “well, what can you do? This is what Panathinaikos is all about! If you want to play, suck it up and try harder, this is Panathinaikos!”
Koroneos is one of those players who did honor to the Greek National Men’s Team too. He only played one game with the Greek National U18 Team (29/3/1970, Greece vs. Egypt 119-55, 4pts.), but played 151 games scoring 1835 (averaging 12.21 points per game) with the Greek National Men’s Team. In fact, he even went as far as winning the gold medal at the 1979 Mediterranean Games in Split; during those games he registered his personal record with the National Team, scoring 33 points in the game against Egypt. He also played in the 1975, 1979, and 1981 Eurobasket competitions.