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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 24 September 2016
28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2016 SPORT ‘It’s time for me to step up and lead this team’ Giannis Antetokounmpo becomes third European basketball import to sign US$100m deal Giannis Antentokoumpo PHOTO: MILWAUKEE BUCKS. The Milwaukee Bucks has agreed to a contract extension with Giannis Antetokounmpo, locking up one of the most versatile players in the NBA. The team's coach, Jason Kidd, values the 6’11” forward enough to have the rest of the team following his lead. According to the Associated Press, the deal was worth four years and US $100 mil- lion, with the Greek import becoming the third ever European to sign a nine-figure contract. Also known as 'The Greek Freak', 21-year-old Antetokounmpo is considered a phe- nomenon, as he has ability to play every position on the floor except for centre. The Bucks star averaged 16.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game in last sea- son, making use of his versatility and length. The Greek Freak, who successfully took over the team's ball-handling duties, also became the first player in history to record five tri- ple-doubles in a season. "In my fourth year, my role is going to be a lot bigger," Antetokounmpo predicted a while ago. "It's time for me to step up and lead this team." And so he has. Canberra Olympic and Bentleigh Greens host Melbourne opponents for a spot in FFA Cup semis GEORGE STOGIANNOU NPL clubs Bentleigh Greens and Canberra Olympic will both be playing for a place in the FFA Cup semi-finals on Tuesday evening, when they each host a Victorian club in the quarter-finals. In the ACT at Deakin Reserve, Canberra Olympic will become the first-ever ACT club to play in the FFA Cup quarter-finals, when it takes on Arthur Papas' Green Gully team from Melbourne. Gully has already made its mark on this season's competition, famously claiming an A-League scalp when it knocked out Central Coast Mariners through a Liam Boland wonder-strike, in an upset result which ultimately cost the Mariners boss his job. No such fate awaits Canberra Olympic boss Frank Cachia should his team lose to Gully on Tuesday night, as Cachia has already led Olympic to its second consecutive ACT Premier League grand-final win this season. Gully coach Papas isn't underestimating Olympic on its home patch, where Olympic has already beaten visitors Redlands United and Surfers Paradise Apollo in the two previous rounds of the FFA Cup. Papas also be- lieves that Olympic will be in good match condition, having played last Saturday in a 3-2 loss to Brisbane Strikers in the national NPL quarter finals, as well as its ACT grand final. Olympic coach Cachia has goal-scoring options in Robbie Cattanach, Jordan Tsekenis and Philippe Bernabo-Madrid. He should also have available regular first choice keeper Angelo Konstantinou, who returns from recent Futsalroo duties at the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia. On the same night that Olympic hosts Green Gully, Bentleigh Greens will be attempting to make it through to the FFA Cup semi-finals for the second time in three years when it hosts A-League powerhouse Melbourne Victory. The Greens made it all the way to the semis in the first year of the FFA Cup, when it lost 3-0 at home to Perth Glory before a crowd of about 3300. That record is certain to be broken on Tuesday night at Kingston Heath, where stadium modifications, arranged especially for this match, will allow a crowd in excess of 5,000. If Bentleigh can cause a major upset by defeating the current FFA Cup holders, it will eclipse even the surprise exits of Adelaide United and Central Coast Mariners at the hands of NPL opponents Redlands United and Green Gully respectively, given that they exited at much earlier stages in their pre-seasons. However, any fitness advantage the NPL clubs have over A-League opponents in the earlier stages of the competition should well and truly be dissipated by now. A win for Bentleigh will be a great feather in the cap for Victorian NPL 1 coach of the year John Anastasiadis. It's been a long but successful season for Anastasiadis' men, winning the Community Shield, the Dockerty Cup and the Premier's Plate. However DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ISSN 1321-1676 9 771321 167062 the side has suffered from fixture overload and injuries to key personnel in the last few weeks which have tested the squad's depth. It has looked jaded in its last two competitive matches, with a loss to Edgeworth in the National NPL quarterfinals last weekend, and three weeks back, when it lost the Victorian NPL 1 semi-final to Oakleigh Cannons. Still, the team has plenty of talent, and the players will need little motivation to show what they're capable of before a national television audience and a bumper home crowd, which will no doubt be supporting the underdog.
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