By James Crook

98922495April 27 - Panagiotis Giannakis, the man who led his native Greece to European glory in 2005, has taken over at the helm of the Chinese national men's basketball team, who parted company with American coach Bob Donewald Junior after they lost all five of their ties at London 2012.

"The former Greek national team boss will be the national team coach," confirmed the Chinese Basketball Association in a statement.

Giannakis is expected to remain in charge for at least four years and "actively prepare" the Chinese team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

China slumped to a miserable campaign at London 2012 after reaching the quarterfinals at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, taking convincing beatings in all five of their group fixtures at last summer's Games.

149910709China's men's basketball team were on the receiving end of a series of embarrassing defeats at London 2012, losing all five of their group games

After guiding his nation to the Eurobasket gold medal eight years ago, 54-year-old Giannakis' Greek team knocked the United States out in the semi-finals of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Championships a year later in 2006, before being defeated by Spain in the final.

Giannakis held the role of Greece coach from 1997 to 1998 then had a second spell at the helm from 2004 to 2008 before moving back to club coaching with Greek League side Olympiacos, who he led to a Greek Cup win and a Euroleague final, which his side lost to Barcelona.

He has been in charge of French LNB Pro A side Limoges Cercle Saint-Pierre this season, but could only muster an eleventh-placed finish in France's premier league.

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