Greece beat Mexico 101-98 in its first game for the Acropolis Tournament at Athens’ Olympic Arena Friday.
The game can be summarized as follows: Greece kept building leads, sometimes in the double digits and Mexico kept coming back, but notin front. Three minutes from the end, Greece was up 13 points (94-81) but Mexico cut the lead to 96-93 with 40 seconds to go. Point guard Kostas Sloukas, who led Greece with 24 points, iced the game with three free throws and a driving layup in the final seconds.
Greece coach Rick Pitino substituted freely and often, trying various lineups, probably making up for the small number of training sessions.
The bad news is that veteran forward Giorgos Printezis felt pain in his lower leg and was not among the 12 players dressed.
The Antetokounmpo family was represented by Kostas, who scored 4 points. The older two brothers, Giannis and Thanasis, are involved in the NBA palyoffs, with the Milwaukee Bucks facing a deciding Game 7 at the Brooklyn Nets for the East Semifinals Saturday evening (early Sunday morning in Greece).
Earlier, Serbia beat Puerto Rico 80-68.
Greece faces Puerto Rico at 8 p.m. Saturday and Serbia the same time Sunday.
The tournament is a tune-up for the four Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, which will take place June 29-July 4 in four different venues. Each tournament will send one team to the Tokyo Olympics.
Greece is scheduled to play in Victoria, Canada and must first avoid finishing last in its group, where it will play with China and Canada. The top two from that group will face, in elimination games, the top two from the other 3-team group (Czech Republic, Turkey, Uruguay).