The history of PAOK BC from its origins until 2009.
Orestis Angelidis, Vangelis Fountoukidis, Yannis Politis, Manthos Katsoulis, Philippos Syrigos, Vassilis Skountis, Panagiotis Fasoulas, Thodoros Rodopoulos, Phaedon Matthaiou, Vangelis Alexandris, Bane Prelević and Kostas Politis.
In this movie I felt, and still do, that what is missing is not something that was omitted or something that has happened in the meantime, but something (we expect) that will come in the future.
More to the point, what is missing is a “dynasty”, a series of domestic titles, but more importantly the European Championship.
In other words, the Euroleague.
PAOK has only won two Championships. One in the distant 1959, which the veteran Orestis Angelidis discusses; and the second, in 1992.
Both were preceded by the tremendous 1980s, when PAOK was the second greatest club in Greek basketball, the first being Aris, which won all the championships, with Galis and Yannakis.
During the 1990s, PAOK managed to get two of the lesser European titles, the European Cup Winner’s Cup, in 1991 and the Korać Cup, in 1994, but lost their big shot, when they missed the chance at the 1993 FinalFour, at the Peace and Friendship Stadium.
They reached two more European Finals, in 1992 and 1996, and (how ironic!) when after having dreamt about it for years, their Stadium in Pylaia was built, they faded into the background.
The film features all that, as well as the 1984 “final of the shaved heads”, which sparked off all the great achievements that followed.
The film also features some of the following people:
The great teacher of basketball Theodoros Rodopoulos, who was the one who put the team together between 1981 and 1983.
Manthos Katsoulis, who had been the team’s rock for many years.
The iconic captain, and forgotten by most, Yannis Politis, who got through all the hard times and, just before he retired, was rewarded with the “shaved” Greek Cup, in 1984.
But the film also features Fasoulas. I had been advised not to interview him, as his transfer to Olympiacos and his overall attachment to the South had soured the fan base. But I believed he had offered too much to PAOK and, in the end, he got to talk in the film and it was as if he had never left.
And, of course, it features the great Bane Prelević, perhaps the most emblematic figure of the players of PAOK basketball club, even though he is only half Greek.
This documentary on the history of PAOK BC, is a film about grandeur, unfulfilled dreams, secret hopes and faith.