Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece beat Luka Doncic, Slovenia to advance to Olympic qualifying final


Thomas Walkup had 19 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 13 points in 21 minutes and Greece moved one victory from the Paris Games, eliminating Luka Doncic and Slovenia 96-68 on Saturday from the semifinals of the Olympic qualifying tournament.

Doncic finished with 21 points in the game in Piraeus, Greece, which marked first time the two NBA megastars faced one another while representing their senior national teams.

The matchup was one of eight semifinals taking place to determine the last four berths in the men’s basketball field for the Paris Games.

Vasileios Toliopoulos added 14 points for Greece, which will meet the winner of the Dominican Republic and Croatia on Sunday in the final of the Greece tournament, with the Paris Olympics berth going to the winner.

Other semifinal games are taking place Saturday at tournaments in Spain, Latvia and Puerto Rico.

Doncic, who played through injuries in the NBA Finals for the Dallas Mavericks in their five-game loss to the Boston Celtics, averaged 31 points in Slovenia’s first two qualifying games. But he came out flat on Saturday against Greece’s big front line.

Slovenia was put on its heels early, as Greece scored the game’s first 13 points and took a 32-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Greece’s advantage grew as high as 23 points in the second quarter before Slovenia used a late flurry to cut it to 47-33 at the half.

Greece came out fast again in the third, using a 11-3 run to get some distance and carried a 16-point edge into the fourth quarter.

Slovenia shot just 43% (23 of 54) from the field for the game. That compared to 54% (34 of 70) for Greece, which also held a 38-25 rebounding edge.

In Riga, Latvia, Bruno Caboclo had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Brazil defeated the Philippines 71-60 to advance to the finals of that tournament.

Marcelinho Huertas added 13 points to help Brazil keep alive hopes of playing in its first Olympics since 2016.

The Brazilians will meet the winner of Cameroon and Latvia on Sunday in the finals of that tournament.

Justin Brownlee finished with 15 points and eight rebounds to lead the Philippines, which shot just 38% from the field (24 of 64) for the game and had 15 turnovers.

The Philippines led 33-27 at halftime before Brazil opened the third quarter with a 14-0 run. It was part of a 24-6 quarter for Brazil, which took a 51-39 lead into the fourth.

It was more the same in the final period. The Philippines got as close as 53-46, before Brazil responded with an 8-0 run to help put the game away.

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AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games



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