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Basketball in mourning following death of Thanasis Giannakopoulos

ATHENS (Greece) - The European basketball family is mourning the loss of Thanasis Giannakopoulos, the long-time Panathinaikos patriarch who died on Tuesday at the age of 88.

Giannakopoulos and his late brother Pavlos, turned Panathinaikos into a Greek and European powerhouse during their quarter of a century (1987-2012) as owners of the club.

Under their leadership, "The Greens" won 13 Greek titles, nine Greek Cups, six Euroleague crowns and a FIBA Intercontinental Cup.

The Giannakopoulos brothers owned the pharmaceutical corporation, Vianex, which had been founded 95 years ago by their father, Dimitrios Giannakopoulos.

Pavlos Giannakopoulos passed away nine months ago.

The passing of Panathinaikos owners Pavlos and Thanasis came after their youngest brother, Kostas - who had been involved in the team's administration and always was close with the Greens - passed away in April of last year.

FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis said: "On FIBA's behalf, I would like to pass on our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the family of Thanasis Giannakopoulos, to the club of Panathinaikos and to the Greek basketball family. I was privileged to witness his remarkable passion for the club and for our game. We are grateful to him and his brothers Pavlos and Kostas for all they did to help grow our sport."