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GREEK NEWS

Greece Triumphs Against Croatia, Secures Place in the Olympics

Greece Olympics
Greece’s National Basketball team made it to the Paris Olympics. Credit: Hellenic Basketball Federation

Greece won against Croatia (80-69) and booked a place in the Olympic Games for the first time since 2008.

Led by Giannis Antetokounmpo (23 points and 8 rebounds) and Nick Calathes who controlled the pace of the game brilliantly, finishing with 14 points, 11 assists and 5 rebounds, Greece was ahead throughout the game and sent the sold-out crowd at the Peace and Friendship Stadium of Piraeus in ecstasy.

Greece enjoyed the not inconsequential backing of a fiery home crowd when and proved right the punters that tipped Greece as a pre-tournament favorite to win the OQT and qualify for the men’s basketball competition at the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

It will also mark the first time in Giannis Antetokounmpo’s career that he appears at the Olympics, adding another stellar name to an already impressive long list of previously qualified teams and players.

Greece Olympics
Credit: FIBA

Greece will now join the Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament Paris 2024 Group A, alongside previously qualified Australia and Canada. The fourth member of the group would be the winner of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament Spain 2024.

Greece head coach Vassilis Spanoulis said before the game: “There’s nothing better than competing at an Olympic Games. It’s a huge honor and great experience, and that’s why we’re here: to do everything possible to get there.”

The road to glory of Greece to the Olympics

Greece reached the final of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) by beating Slovenia 96-68 on Saturday. Thomas Walkup led Greece with 19 points, while Giannis Antetokounmpo had 13 points and four rebounds in just under 21 minutes of action.

On Thursday Greece did not disappoint in front of 11,216 fans in the stands of the Peace and Friendship Stadium. Even with Giannis Antetokounmpo resting, coach Vassilis Spanoulis guided his team to a 93-71 win over Egypt and secured the semi-final place against Slovenia.

In their opening game of Group B, Giannis Antetokounmpo led Greece to an impressive 109-82 win against the Dominican Republic. In just 18 minutes he finished with 32 points on 11-for-11 shooting, two rebounds, two assists, two steals, and an epic blocked shot that made all the highlight reels on social media.

Greece is a world power in basketball

Greece have appeared four times in the Olympic Games their best results being fifth place finishes on three occasions (1996, 2004, 2008).

They have appeared nine times at the FIBA World Cup, with their best result coming in 2006 as runners-up, after beating the United States 101–95 in the tournament’s semi-final.

Greece has taken part in the EuroBasket 28 times, winning the tournament twice; while also coming away with one silver (1989), as well as two bronze medals (1949, 2009).

Some of the team’s highlights at the competition were beating the Soviet Union 103–101 in the final in Athens to win their first title in 1987, and defeating Germany 78–62 in the final in 2005. Greece have competed four times at the Olympic Games,

Greece is the only national team in the world to have defeated the United States during Mike Krzyzewski’s era (2005–2016), as the latter had an undefeated record both before and after the 2006 FIBA World Cup semi-final, all major competitions included.

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