Czech head coach reveals main difference between FIBA Giannis in 2019 and 2022

Donatas Urbonas
Senior Staff Writer
2022-09-11 21:24

Czech Republic national team's head coach Ronen Ginzburg revealed that Giannis Antetokounmpo passing ability is the biggest difference in his game.

Credit: FIBA

Czech Republic national team's head coach Ronen Ginzburg made life difficult for the NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo once again.

The EuroBasket 2022 final phase hosts are famous for Berlin Wall. But this time, the Greek Freak faced the Czech Republic wall.

He had the lowest scoring first half at the EuroBasket so far, scoring only 4 points on 1 of 5 shooting.

Player of the Game
Giannis  Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Points 27
Accuracy 8-17
Rebounds 10
Assists 5

However, Giannis dropped 23 after halftime and finished the game with 27 points (8/17 FG), 10 rebounds, and 5 assists to take Greece to the Round of 16 victory over the Czech Republic 94-88.

"We were building the wall against him. That was something that we had to do," Czech Rep. point guard Tomas Satoransky, who set the new EuroBasket record in assists (17), said after the game.

"We had to take some risks also. But Greeks were able to knock down shots," the Barcelona newcomer added.

"We tried to force him to take difficult shots or shots he's not comfortable with. But in the second half, he took it to the low post and started sharing the ball. They got comfortable, and then they opened the space for him. He took it from there," the Czech Republic center Jan Vesely said.

"It's impossible to keep him out of the game for 40 minutes," the Barcelona center said.

"He's not a junior player. It's a two-time NBA MVP. He showed the quality and found a way to beat our strategy of risking a lot," Vesely added.

The last time Giannis played vs. Greece in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the Czech Republic managed to contain him to 12 points on 4 of 9 shooting, nine rebounds, and four assists, forcing him to 4 turnovers.

"He became stronger, yes. I think at a certain point, he decided to pass the ball more. I think it was the biggest difference from the last World Cup," Ginzburg emphasized.

"His shot is still so so," he added.

Antetkounmpo was 2 of 8 beyond the arc.

"But he is an amazing player," Ginzburg assured. "Giannis is stronger and is sharing the ball more."

"He works a lot, and every year he is showing that he is getting better and better," Vesely, who was on the 2019 team, but didn't play in that game, said.

Both games were also close.

In China, Greece won by seven (84-77). This time in Germany, the Czechs were still ahead with 7 minutes to play.

The loss eliminated the Czech Republic from the EuroBasket. But Czechs are leaving Germany with a lot of pride in their campaign.

"I think we put up the fight, and we can be proud of our performance," Satoransky concluded.


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