By Eurohoops team / email@example.com
Among other things, Giannis Antetokounmpo has been quite famous for his comeback performances after losses.
The “Greek Freak” did exactly that in the “do-or-die” game of Greece against Zealand for Group F of the World Cup’s first round, after his national team’s defeat to Brazil.
Giannis scored 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out six assists in 30 minutes to register 30 PIR and lead Greece to a 103 – 97 win and the qualification to the second stage of the tournament. Greece will face Team USA and the Czech Republic in the Group K race for the quarterfinals.
While Greece advanced with a 2-1 record, New Zealand dropped to 1-2 and was eliminated. The “Tall Blacks” will settle for the classification round.
New Zealand put up a great fight against their opponents spearheaded by Corey Webster (31 points, four rebounds, four assists). After Greece took an 80 – 68 lead in the beginning of the fourth period, courtesy of triples by Ioannis Papapetrou (16 points) and Giorgos Printezis (13 points), New Zealand cut its deficit to five, 82 – 77 with five minutes left. Giannis made some personal plays and Nick Calathes (14 points, five assists, four rebounds) hit a 3-pointer to put his team up by 10, 94 – 84 with 2:18 left.
Tai Webster (15 points) then went 0/2 from the line and a 3-point attempt by Corey went off target while on the other end, Kostas Sloukas was more or less sealing his team’s victory with 2/2 free throws.
Isaac Fotu added 15 points for New Zealand while Tom Abercrombie finished with 15 points and six rebounds. Thanasis Antetokounmpo scored 10 for Greece.