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With Giannis to the 3rd title? The Greeks in check

Greece are among the top favorites for the EURO 2022 title because they have one of the best players of the tournament in their ranks. Will Giannis Antetokounmpo lead the team to gold? The Greeks in check.

One of the top stars of the tournament: Giannis Antetokounmpo.

IMAGO/ZUMA Press

You don’t have to be a great prophet to know that the Greek game is dominated by Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 27-year-old is one of the best basketball players in the world, has twice won the NBA’s player of the season and won the title with his Milwaukee Bucks in the summer of 2021. Now he is aiming for the first big coup as part of the national team.

Giannis is expected to lead the Greeks to their third gold medal at a European championship after 1987 and 2005. The long model athlete dominates among the baskets, but has also improved a lot in ball handling in recent years and will therefore often have the ball in his own hands, attract opponents and then find the free man.

The top star of the team can also look forward to his two brothers Thanasis (also with the Milwaukee Bucks) and Kostas Antetokounmpo (Lyon-Villeurbanne) as part of the national team. However, both of them don’t play the big roles in their clubs and probably won’t do that at the European Championship either.

Who supports Giannis?

The big challenge for coach Thanasis Skourtopoulos in pre-season was to create a team that doesn’t depend too much on the Bucks star. Giannis will also need some relief in a long tournament, which ideally should go all the way to the final for the Greeks. The two experienced point guards Kostas Sloukas (Fenerbahce) and Nick Calathes (Barcelona) will also be important here. Both are long-serving national teams and experienced Euroleague players, so they’ve seen enough to succeed in a tournament like this. However, the use of Sloukas at the EM is questionable.

The player Tyler Dorsey, who already got a taste of NBA air at Atlanta and Memphis and now switched to the Dallas Mavericks in the summer, is also exciting. The guard came from Olympiaskos Piraeus. Whether he is part of the Mavs squad or rather plays in the G-League is still open.

All in all, the Greeks can do a lot in this final tournament. In Group C, to be played in Milan, Giannis & Co will face Estonia, Great Britain, Italy, Croatia and Ukraine – that shouldn’t pose a problem. In the knockout phase, the round of 16 is then played crosswise with Group D, which includes the strong Serbs.

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