Giannis Antetokounmpo expected to play in Belgrade for FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

2022-08-20T18:54:27+00:00 2022-08-20T23:19:22+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

20/Aug/22 18:54

Huge upgrade for Greece as Giannis Antetokounmpo is slated to play in the next fixtures

By Johnny Askounis/

Despite battling back and knee soreness, Giannis Antetokounmpo is set to return to action with official games taking over the schedule for the Greece senior national team.

Antetokounmpo, 27, was ruled out of the last prep game with back soreness but the MRI come back clean, the Hellenic Basketball Federation announced Saturday.

Dealing with knee soreness forced the Greek Freak to miss to more friendly games, earlier in the training camp. Available in two fixtures, he produced 27.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.5 steals per contest.

Moving forward, the Milwaukee Bucks superstar is expected to play in the opener of the 2023 FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers Group I. The team guided by Greek tactician Dimitris Itoudis will visit Serbia and back-to-back NBA MVP next Thursday. Following three days later is a home game against Belgium.

Shifting to Group C of the 2022 EuroBasket, Greece will be in Milan to take on Croatia, Italy, Great Britain, Ukraine, and Estonia between 2 and 8 September. Ranking first through fourth would clinch a berth in the knockout stage of the tournament to be held in Berlin and stretch to the gold medal game on 18 September. Following that point, his focus will be on the Bucks training camp heading to the 2022-23 NBA season.

Besides Antetokounmpo, the injury list features Giorgos Papagiannis and Ioannis Papapetrou. Both are expected to be cleared before EuroBasket’s opening game. However, Itoudis is determined to wait until the last moment to register the final roster.