By Antigoni Zachari / email@example.com
The Greek national team will chase a ticket to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo through the Victoria Pre-Olympic Tournament as it was made known on Wednesday after the respective draw. Greece will take on Canada, Turkey, China, Uruguay, and the Czech Republic with hopes to return to the Olympics after 12 years.
Rick Pitino, the new head coach of the Greek selection, discussed Giannis Antetokounmpo’s possible presence on the team, which will depend on his NBA schedule. The Bucks‘ run in the postseason can have an impact on the Greek team, something that Pitino acknowledges.
“We will see what happens with Giannis (Antetokounmpo). Of course, we want him to make it as far in the playoffs as possible, but we will see what happens. It depends on his NBA schedule. Turkey and Canada have the most NBA talent, but in tournaments like this it doesn’t really count”, Pitino shared on Greek Basketball Federation’s website.
“A lot of things for us will depend on Giannis’ participation. His team currently has the best record in the NBA and if they make it through the finals and we don’t have him on the team, it will surely be more difficult for us”, he added during Panathinaikos‘ media day ahead of EuroLeague Round 11.
For the Greek Freak, scheduling seems tough since the pre-Olympic Tournament tips off June 23 and the possibility of Bucks making it to the NBA finals means that he will be busy at least until mid to late June, giving him little to no time to get back with the Greek NT and prepare, while the fatigue factor could also play a key role.
This remains a challenge for Giannis, who will look to reinforce the national selection if possible and help it punch a ticket to Tokyo’s Olympics, finishing the business where they left it off in China’s World Cup.