Credit: FEB
Credit FEB

Greece made light work of Spain in both teams' maiden preparation game ahead of the 2022 EuroBasket. The hosts prevailed by 86-70 behind a formidable performance by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 31 points in only 20'33' on the court.

Quino Colom

Quino  Colom
Position: PG
Age: 33
Height: 188 cm
Weight: 80 kg
Birth place: Andorra

The Greak Freak was unstoppable on the offensive end, to the excitement the 15,000 fans that went to OAKA on Tuesday night.

Quino Colom didn't get to guard the Milwaukee Bucks superstar, but got a good taste of what Giannis is capable of, especially when he's given some room to run the court.

Colom, 34, played 16 minutes in the friendly game in Athens and was held down to three points, four assists and two steals.

Before Spain headed to the bus and then to their hotel in order to get some rest ahead of their second friendly clash with Greece, the new point guard of Marc Gasol's Girona spoke to the media about his impressions from the outing and Giannis' dominant presence.

"It was a pretty tough match," Colom told BasketNews in the OAKA mixed zone.

"The crowd created a very positive atmosphere, as always here at the OAKA. Physically they set the bar really high and it was difficult for us to get into the game. I think that in the second half, we showed how much better we can play, but we still have a long way to go," the experienced guard continued.

Credit FEB

Despite Spain's heaviest loss to Greece ever, Colom thinks that some positive conclusions can be drawn also.

"It's our first game and we've been practicing for a week now. We have to learn from this match. Just by looking at the dates, we have just started our preparation. We have a lot of quality, but we also ought to be physically tougher. Greece definitely played better than us," the Andorra-born guard pointed out. 

At the end of the first quarter, Greece were up by 18 (31-13) and Giannis Antetokounmpo was putting on a show for everyone to watch. Colom thinks that the two-time (1987, 2005) European champs are this year "much better compared to other times. They played incredibly tonight and started with a lot of energy. Fans in OAKA push the team a lot. I think they have players with big quality," he argued.

"Of course, Giannis makes the difference on the court. I've never seen anything like that in my life. He's one of the most interesting players in European basketball. For sure, Greece will fight a lot," Colom maintains. 

Asked how can someone stop Giannis, Colom promptly responded: "I don't know. If someone knows, please tell me."

For the veteran guard, who played last season in Greece with AEK Athens, returning to the OAKA arena brought back some good memories.

"It's always beautiful to play at OAKA, but we weren't scared to play here. It's one of my favorite places in Europe, but we're used to these environments. We started soft and they were aggressive. We managed to recover in the second half, cutting down the margin to six points (63-57, at the end of the third quarter)," Colom recalled.  

This summer, Spain have played five final games across all FIBA youth competitions. Even if the current squad lacks certain qualities, the future looks bright for the reigning world champions. 

"We were talking about players retiring at the 2019 World Cup, which was our first one without those born in 1980 (Pau Gasol, Felipe Reyes, Juan Carlos Navarro) and we won the gold medal," Colom remembered.

"So, those guys deserve the people's respect. We will fight a lot (in the upcoming tournament) and we'll see how far we can go. You can see that that the young generation is coming. The present is good, but our future will be even better," he says.

As for the element that makes Quino Colom optimistic ahead of this EuroBasket? "We're Spain and we're going to fight as hard as possible," he firmly responds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo's breakdown:

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