Milwaukee Bucks: Antetokounmpos’ Greece powers past Turkey in 84-70 win

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 06: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 06: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo played an integral role in Greece’s win over Ersan Ilyasova’s Turkey Saturday afternoon as part of the ongoing Acropolis Tournament in Crete.

Saturday afternoon saw an international showdown between a trio of Milwaukee Bucks players.

In the end, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo‘s Greece were able to mow through Ersan Ilyasova and Turkey in an 84-70 win that put Greece up to two wins in the famed Acropolis Tournament, which is currently taking place in Crete.

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Both the 24-year-old Antetokounmpo and Ilyasova started for their respective squads and matched up against one another early on, which saw Antetokounmpo block a scooping shot attempt by Ilyasova under the rim in the opening couple of minutes.

Shortly thereafter, the reigning MVP got his offensive performance started by knocking down a mid-ranger off the dribble.

Antetokounmpo continued to keep forcing the issue inside, throwing down a number of slam dunks and drawing a crowd of defenders that only led to him making numerous trips to the free throw line. The attention he drew also worked well in him dishing the rock to his Greek teammates, which led to a couple of triples and easy scores at the basket.

With his day finishing up in the final few moments that were left before the end of the third quarter, Antetokounmpo finished with a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds), five assists, three blocks, and one steal in just over 26 minutes of run.

Thanasis, meanwhile, didn’t check in for his first taste of action until the 5:51 mark of the second quarter and wasn’t featured all that much offensively in his first shift that eventually closed out the first half.

The 27-year-old got things rolling in the third quarter when he had an impressive chasedown block on Turkish international and Philadelphia 76ers guard Furkan Korkmaz at the cup (as an aside, Korkmaz was dialed in as he led Turkey with 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists).

The elder Antetokounmpo broke out offensively with a pair of strong drives to the rack, including one that resulted in and-one, and he capped off his night with a two-handed alley-oop slam dunk that brought Greek fans to their feet. Thanasis ended up with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field (0-for-1 from the foul line), seven rebounds, and one block in over 19 minutes of time.

On the other side, Ilyasova got off to a relatively slow start before connecting on his first of three made triples for the day in the latter stages of the first quarter. The 32-year-old continued his first half shooting struggles before putting down a driving scoop layup that helped Turkey come nearly within a possession going into the halftime interval.

It was his during his run throughout the entire third quarter where Ilyasova shined the brightest, though, as he had an impressive 10-point run midway through the frame, which included another driving teardrop shot, starting with a nifty fake, and culminating with a deep three well beyond the three-point line.

When his day ended at just under the eight-minute mark in the fourth, Ilyasova had put up 16 points and three rebounds in over 24 minutes of burn.

Now, Greece is slated to take on a fellow undefeated Serbian team Sunday afternoon, that has previously dominated both Turkey and Italy in games that were decided by a total of 47 points over the two contests. Meanwhile, Turkey will look to find their first win in the tourney when they face Italy as a lead-in to Greece’s clash with Serbia tomorrow.

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With that, Greece will look to go for gold against a star-laden Serbian team made up of players such as Nemanja Bjelica, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nikola Jokic and Boban Marjanovic. Whether the Greek superstar, Thanasis and the rest of the Greek national team will prevail against a massive test is the big question.