Antetokounmpo, Greece strong in opener against Dominican Republic

Antetokounmpo, Greece strong in opener against Dominican Republic

Giannis Antetokounmpo looked like a player intent on leading Greece to its first Olympic berth since 2008.

Antetokounmpo had 32 points in 19 minutes, going 11 of 11 from the field, as Greece rolled to a 109-82 win over the Dominican Republic on Wednesday in Group B of the Piraeus, Greece, Olympic qualifying tournament.

Thomas Walkup added 17 points for Greece, which led by as many as 27 and can advance to the semifinal round with a victory over Egypt on Thursday.

“Giannis loves to be here. He loves to represent his country,” Greece coach Vassilis Spanoulis said. “He’s very humble. He’s part of the team. For a superstar you don’t find this easy. … He’s about winning.”

The tournament in Greece is one of four that opened Tuesday to settle the final four spots in the field for the Paris Olympics. Other tournaments are ongoing in Latvia, Puerto Rico and Spain.

Group play at all four sites continues through Thursday, with semifinal games Saturday and the title games Sunday.

An appearance in the Olympics is one of the few things Antetokounmpo has yet to accomplish in his career.

On Wednesday, he didn’t seem to be bothered at all by the strained left calf that caused him to sit out the Milwaukee Bucks’ playoff run in April. He got to the rim at will, went 9 of 13 from the free-throw line and knocked down his lone 3-point attempt.



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