Fenerbahce Ulker inks former champ Sato

In its first move since hiring Simone Pianigiani as head coach, Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul signed one of his former players, forward Romain Sato, to a two-year contract on Thursday. Sato (1.94 meters, 31 years old) arrives from Panathinaikos Athens, with whom he became a Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion in 2011. The veteran small forward spent four seasons under Pianigiani at Montepaschi Siena from 2006 through 2007, during which time they made the 2008 Euroleague Final Four, won four Italian League titles and a pair of Italian Cups together. Sato was the the Italian League MVP in 2010. In the past two seasons with Panathinaikos, Sato has done even better. He has reached back-to-back Turkish Airlines Final Fours and won it all in 2011. Last season Sato averaged 7.1 points and 4.7 rebounds as Panathinaikos’s starting small forward. He produced his only double-double of the season – 12 points and 10 rebounds – against FB Ulker in a Top 16 game in what will be his new home, Fenerbahce Ulker Sports Arena. In addition, Sato helped the Greens win the 2011 Greek League and the 2012 Greek Cup. For his Euroleague career, Sato has now played in 103 games and averaged 10.1 points per game. Sato has also played for Barcelona in Spain, Jesi in Italy and San Antonio in the NBA and has represented his native country, the Central African Republic, at several AfroBasket championships.

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