WATCH: Giannis Antetokounmpo break down in tears after helping Greece secure a spot in the Paris Olympics

Basketball: Giannis Antetokounmpo achieved another significant career milestone on Sunday, propelling his native nation to its first Olympic Games in men's basketball since 2008. 

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Giannis Antetokounmpo achieved another significant career milestone on Sunday, propelling his native nation to its first Olympic Games in men's basketball since 2008. 

After a tense first half, Greece defeated Croatia, 80-69, in a FIBA qualification tournament final in Piraeus, Greece, to secure a berth in the Paris Games. Greece participated in the Olympics four times: in 1952, 1996, 2004, and 2008. As the host nation, the 2004 squad was an automatic entry. The country has never won a medal in the sport.

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In a game that seemed more like payback for Greece because Croatia had defeated them in a qualifying round in 2016 to keep Greece out of the Rio Olympics, the top player for the Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 23 points and pulled down eight rebounds in just 29 minutes of action. Despite a close first quarter, Greece took charge in the second quarter and led by eight points at the midway mark (37–29). In the second half, Croatia made an attempt to rally, but their best effort was limited to five points.

Greece will compete in Group A of the Olympics

Kostas Antetokounmpo, a Dominican High School alumnus, plays for the Greek national team but did not face Croatia. Former Bucks player Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who tore his left Achilles tendon in June, is unable to play but is still with the team.

Since 1928, Greece has been the first country in the line of nations to start the Games, paying homage to its historic ties with the tournament. If Giannis Antetokounmpo is picked to carry the Greek flag, he will be the first Black athlete to do so. Greece extended its advantage in the third quarter and maintained it for the rest of the match, cementing its standing as possibly the most solid team in all four OQTs. Greece will compete in Group A of the Olympics with Australia, Canada, and either Spain or the Bahamas, depending on how the game ends in Valencia, Spain, on Sunday.

On July 26, the Games' opening ceremony will take place on the Seine River.

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