Thanasis Skourtopoulos: “Giannis was protected and rested for Monday’s game”

2019-09-07T17:07:55+00:00 2019-09-07T18:07:25+00:00.

Aris Barkas

07/Sep/19 17:07

The Greek national team protected its star ahead of the do or die game against the Czech Republic

By Aris Barkas/

SHENZΗEN – Giannis Antetokounmpo was not used in the fourth quarter of the game between the USA and Greece, but he was not benched.

As Greek coach Thanasis Skourtopoulos clarified after the game: “It was a decision we took jointly with Giannis. We wanted to protect him and rest as we did with other players of our main rotation. We have a big game coming on Monday, and this is the most important thing for us now”. 

Even if Greece has beaten the USA, they would need to beat also the Czech Republic on Monday to advance. Now, after losing to the USA, Greece still needs to beat the Czech Republic but by 12 or more points to make it to the quarterfinals, provided, of course, that the USA will beat Brazil.

“This is the biggest thing for us now, and we have to do our best,” said Skourtopoulos who also implied that he felt the game was going USA’s way on the court and even on the calls made.

“We decided to focus on the next game and rest some players, it was a conscious decision taken by our coach, and I agree with that,” also said Greek guard Kostas Sloukas who was also rested in the fourth.

Photo credit: FIBA.Basketball