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2019 FIBA World Cup: Brazil coach rips Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo

By Connor Grott
Milwaukee Bucks and Greece forward Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 13 points and fouled out late in the fourth quarter against Brazil. File Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE
Milwaukee Bucks and Greece forward Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 13 points and fouled out late in the fourth quarter against Brazil. File Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE

Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Brazil head coach Aleksandar Petrovic slammed star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, saying he was more worried about Greece's Kostas Sloukas and Georgios Printezis.

Petrovic told reporters Tuesday after Brazil's 79-78 upset win over Greece in the 2019 FIBA World Cup that he watched the Milwaukee Bucks' playoff series against the Toronto Raptors last season and learned how to slow down the "Greek Freak."

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"We showed that we have several players who can stop Antetokounmpo," Petrovic said. "But I was more occupied with Sloukas and Printezis, and that's what happened [Tuesday]. When I was preparing [for] this game, a lot of people talked and joked about how to stop Antetokounmpo. I had [known] for six months in my head, since the semifinals between Toronto and Milwaukee, how to stop Antetokounmpo. The problem tonight for us was Sloukas and Printezis."

Petrovic credited veteran Alex Garcia, 39, for slowing down Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo, the NBA's Most Valuable Player last season, finished with 13 points and fouled out late in the fourth quarter.

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"Why this sport is wonderful?" Petrovic asked rhetorically. "On the other side, you have a guy who won the MVP, he's [24] years old, and who stops him tonight? The guy who is [39] years old and kicks his [expletive] on the court. That's basketball."

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Anderson Varejao, who last played in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors two years ago, led Brazil (2-0) with 22 points and nine rebounds.

Greece (1-1) must defeat New Zealand in the team's Group F finale Thursday to reach the second round.

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