Giannis Antetokounmpo pours 25 points in Greece’s narrow win over Italy – Group C round up

2022-09-03T22:59:44+00:00 2022-09-04T00:19:52+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

03/Sep/22 22:59

Confident display for Greece with Giannis Antetokounmpo in charge

By John Rammas/

A strong defense can be the plan moving forward but Greece was on fire in offense, especially Giannis Antetokounmpo dropping 25 points in the 85-81 victory over Italy in Milan Saturday night.

Marking the battle of 1-0 teams in Group C of the 2022 EuroBasket, the Greek Freak made 8/15 from the field and 8/9 free throws. Lasting 30 minutes, he also tallied 11 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one block.

“We have an extraordinarily motivated and high-level player. Not only high-level, the best in the world. He can do many things,” national team boss Dimitris Itoudis commented on the Milwaukee Bucks superstar, “The fact that he is a great teammate makes him unique. He leads by example in many areas.”

“The physicality for sure. He is an amazing player. One-on-one, he is impossible to stop, so we keep playing him five-against-one,” Stefano Tonut replied to a question about the difficulties of facing Antetokounmpo, “We know that there are a lot of amazing players in the competition. We keep going.”

Registering his side’s last four points as the hosts reduced the deficit to three points, Tyler Dorsey packing 23 points added to the impressive shooting display. Greece ended up with 56% from the two-point range and connected 13/35 from beyond the arc.

More good news for Itoudis as Giorgos Papagiannis finally saw action after missing the opener and all prep games due to injury. The Panathinaikos OPAP center pulled down one rebound in six minutes. Kostas Antetokounmpo was not available.

“We refused to step back, always there at the level of being very competitive,” Itoudis summed up the contest, “We had good moments. Unfortunately, the bad moments gave Italy the chance to come back.”

The home side trailed the entire game with comeback bids stretching to the fourth quarter but falling short. Utah Jazz newcomer Simone Fontecchio scored 26 points, including 12 in the last ten minutes. Achille Polonara posted a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double.

Gregg Popovich was in attendance.

Croatia and Ukraine log respective wins

Earlier in Mediolanum Forum, Croatia rolled Great Britain, 86-65. NBA players Bojan Bogdanovic, Dario Saric, and Ivica Zubac shared a team-high 15 points. Mario Hezonja piled up with a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double. For the losing team, experienced forward Myles Hesson scored 18 points.

Ukraine rallied to a 74-73 victory against Estonia. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk paved the way with a game-high 18 points. Illya Sydorov added 11 points, including the game-winning bucket. Alex Len of the Sacramento Kings chipped in seven points in 17 minutes.