Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 23 out of his game-high 27 points in the second half while grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out five assists as Greece survived a tough Czech Republic team 94 – 88 to advance to the 2022 EuroBasket quarterfinals. This result set up a matchup between Greece and host Germany.
Antetokounmpo, who was coming from an ankle injury, also drained the dagger from beyond the arc for the 91 – 83 with 31 seconds to play. It was his second triple in the last minutes after also hitting one to make it 82 – 78 while going 0-4 beforr he then made a pair of free throws for the 92 – 85 as Greece coach Dimitris Itoudis pulled him to the bench as the crowd in the Mercedes Benz arena gave him a big ovation. Apart from the qualification to the Top 8, Greece also took a bit of a “vengeance” from the Czech side after the latter beat them in the final of the 2021 Olympic Qualifiers (Canada).
feel very proud of my teammates and coaching staff for the way we played today against one of the favorites of the tournament,” Satoransky said. “It was our best game of the tournament: Good defensive mindset for the first three quarters. We were building the wall, like we said against Giannis. That’s something you have to do because he’s such an athlete in transition but then risk other players getting open shots. And credit to them, they knocked them down when it mattered most. And they deserve to go to the Quarter-Finals, but we put up a fight. Our last two games were pretty positive.”
Everything changed after the break. Giannis made two straight baskets in the third period, including a turnaround jumper and continued adding points from the free throw line to give Greece the lead. When the Czech team regained the advantage, Ioannis Papapetrou stepped up with key defenses and eight straight points to put Greece ahead again.
“Defensively we have built back up our confidence in the clutch moments and we managed to get a win against a great team that really has a lot of qualities,” Greece coach Dimitris Itoudis said. “We found a good way to defend them with good spacing. In the clutch moments we hit some amazing shots and proved to be better in the end.”
Injured Giannis was once again the MVP:
in 34 minutes