Not a whole lot can stop NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, except perhaps Brazil’s national team. Antetokounmpo, who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, is known for dominating the basketball court when it comes to NBA tournaments but found that he met his match when he recently played Brazil.
According to Bruno Varela, a spokesperson and sports expert from REVIEWBOX Brasil, “Brazil have played in the FIBA Basketball World Cup since it began in 1950. This is the 18th FIBA Basketball World Cup tournament for men’s national basketball teams, and it features many countries all battling it out to win gold. Previously, Brazil have taken away gold, silver, and bronze medals, however, there’s a lot of strong contenders that they are still yet to face so it’s really anybody’s game.”
During the recent game between Brazil and Greece, on the 3rd of September, Antetokounmpo was only able to score 13 points and four rebounds against Brazil in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Greece vs Brazil was part of the first group stage of the tournament and ended with a final score of 79-78 to Brazil.
Brazilian’s head coach, Aleksander Petrovic, spoke to EuroHoops, and said, “We showed that we have several players who can stop Antetokounmpo. But yesterday I was more occupied with Sloukas and Printezis, and that’s what happened today. When I was preparing this game, a lot of people talked and joked about how to stop Antetokounmpo.”
After the match, Petrovic boasted about how his Brazilian team were able to shut down “The Greek Freak.”
Antetokounmpo, who says that he is only functioning at 60% right now and believes that he can be better in the future, tried to put up a fight during the match but Brazilian player Alex Garcia kept successfully blocking him.
Petrovic stated how Garcia shutting down Antetokounmpo is one example of how basketball is “wonderful”. Petrovic said, “On the other side, you have a guy who won the MVP, he’s 23 years old and who stops him tonight? The guy who is 40 years old and kicks his ass on the court! That’s basketball!”
During the match, Antetokounmpo only managed to connect on just three of his seven field goal attempts. Antetokounmpo only played 28 minutes of the match and then came off. Perhaps Antetokounmpo wasn’t up to his usual standard, however he is just coming off an MVP season.
Regardless, it was a great win for Brazil’s national basketball team and has set them up for a promising start. Brazil next face Czech Republic and the USA in the second group stage and then depending on their performance might go into the quarter-finals and then the semi-finals.
And who knows, Brazil’s national team might have just what it takes to make it to the finals and win!
The FIBA Basketball World Cup will finish on 15th September 2019. Make sure you stay up to date with the latest news, fixtures and results of the matches on the FIBA official website.