Giannis Antetokounmpo spearheads Greece’s triumph over Dominican Republic

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The Dominican Republic tried their best to spoil the party for 11,648 fans in the stands, but Greece were on another level to start their FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament campaign.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, in his first official game with the national team since FIBA EuroBasket 2022, led the hosts to a 109-82 win, meaning Greece are a step away from securing top spot in Group B. All they need now is a win over Egypt on Thursday.

Greece took full control of the game right from the start, storming to a double-digit lead in the first quarter, and never looked back.

Dominican Republic’s coach Che Garcia wanted a stubborn approach from his team despite the deficit, and he got it, as their three-point shooting allowed the team to reduce the gap to 10 points, but they never got close enough to get into single digits and test Greece’s patience.

Once Greece started knocking down their three-pointers, in the second half, it was only a matter of waiting for the final margin.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had not played an official basketball game for nearly three months. There was no visible rust, his dunk opened up the scoring and every single thing he did on the court in just 18 minutes of work looked like he was at 100 percent. The Greek superstar finished with 32 points on 11-of-11 shooting from the field, getting an efficiency rating of 34.

Greece shot 16-of-30 from three-point range, as nine different players knocked down at least one three-pointer.

Greece’s coach Vassilis Spanoulis gave the green light to all of his players to shoot, including the center Georgios Papagiannis popping behind the three-point line and knocking down a pair of threes. This free-shooting Greece was a joy to watch for the home crowd in Piraeus.

Source: FIBA.

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