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Tears for Antetokounmpo: Greece and Spain at the Olympics

For the first time in his career as a professional basketball player, Giannis Antetokounmpo is taking part in the Olympic Games. Alongside Greece, Spain also secured their ticket for Paris on Sunday evening

After Greece’s 80:69 win over Croatia to qualify for the Olympics, Giannis Antetokounmpo sat on the sidelines and tried – unsuccessfully – to hold back his tears: For the first time since 2008, and thus for the first time with the Greek Freak, Greece is at the Olympic Games.

Antetokounmpo naturally played a big part in the success, with the Milwaukee Bucks superstar leading his team with 23 points. Georgios Papagiannis scored 19 points against the Croatians led by Ivica Zubac (19 points, 13 rebounds) and Mario Hezonja (15).

Greece will now face Australia, Canada and Spain in Group A in the preliminary round of the basketball tournament in Paris – a really tough group. “It’s great to have qualified, but this is just the first step,” said Papagiannis. “We want to achieve something at the Olympic Games. “

Spain ends the hopes of the Bahamas

Spain also secured their Olympic ticket on Sunday evening thanks to an 86:78 win over the Bahamas, who were led by NBA pros Buddy Hield (19 points) and Deandre Ayton (17). But that was not enough against the experienced and high-class Spaniards, who are now at the Olympics for the seventh time in a row. Lorenzo Brown led his team with 18 points, while Willy Hernangomez, the EuroBasket MVP of 2022, scored 14 points

Puerto Rico returns to the Olympics after 20 years

Brazil had also previously qualified, and the South Americans are now the DBB team’s third opponent in Paris alongside hosts France and Japan. The last remaining Olympic ticket was snapped up by Puerto Rico on Monday night.

The team led by NBA pro Jose Alvarado (23 points) beat Lithuania 79:68 in front of its own fans – a historic victory not only because the small basketball nation is back at the Olympic Games for the first time in 20 years, but also because it beat Lithuania for the first time. In 2004 in Athens, Puerto Rico even managed a surprise win against the USA, and this year they will once again face the top favorites from North America as well as Serbia and South Sudan in Group C.

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