Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greece are in the Olympic Games

2024-07-07T21:40:54+00:00 2024-07-07T22:34:55+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

07/Jul/24 21:40

A confident display for Greece overcomes Croatia in the Final of the 2024 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Piraeus

By Johnny Askounis/

Athens, Greece – Stretching the lead to 14 points in the third quarter, Greece kept firing on the way to a win, 80-69, versus Croatia in the Peace and Friendship Stadium on Thursday.

Topping the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Piraeus, the hosts qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games. The first successful bid by the home team in an OQT since Serbia in 2016.

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Heading to his first appearance in the Olympics, NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo piled up a game-high 23 points to go with eight rebounds, three assists, one block, and one steal over 28 minutes.

In an unprecedented display of his range, Giorgos Papagiannis knocked in four triples in the first half. He had 16 points and Giannis followed with 11 as the team coached by Vassilis Spanoulis ended up with a six-point advantage at the break. After eight lead changes, Greece launched an 8-0 run for a 37-29 lead and held on for the remainder of the second quarter.

Pouring in 11 of his 14 points in the third period, Nick Calathes overcame a slow start and pushed his side to a commanding position. Dishing out 11 assists, he went into double-digits in three out of four appearances in the tournament. Papagiannis finished with 19 points, including five three-pointers. On the losing end, Ivica Zubac posted a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double and Dario Saric paired his 14 points with 12 rebounds.

With the fifth Olympic berth in national team history, Greece placed in Group A of the preliminary round alongside Australia, Canada, and Spain.

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