Greece Makes European Basketball Championship Quarterfinals

Posted On Nov 18 2019 by

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares LILLE, France – Greece secured a place in the quarterfinals of the European basketball championship by beating Belgium 75-54 on Saturday for its sixth win in as many games.Latvia also reached the quarters by beating Slovenia 73-66.Center Yannnis Bourousis led Greece with 14 points, and Kostas Koufos added 13 as the team looks for its first title at the competition since 2005.Belgium, trailing by three at halftime, resisted well until midway through the third quarter, when Vassilis Spanoulis gave Greece a 10-point lead.Georgios Printezis followed with two free throws and Bourousis made a jumper as Greecetook a decisive 57-42 lead at the end of the third, and used a 21-3 run into the fourth quarter to take a 23-point advantage, while Belgium could not score for nine minutes.“In the first half we would have had a better score if we were not so static against the zone,” Greece coach Fotis Katsikaris said. “In the second half, the team was very determined and played unbelievable defense.”Greece is seeking its third title, having also won in 1987. Greece went 5-0 in the group stage and looked at ease as the tournament moved into the knockout stage at Lille’s football stadium, which has been converted into an indoor arena.Pierre-Antoine Gillet led Belgium with 14 points, Sam van Rossom added 13, and Matt Lojeski, who plays his club basketball in Greece, had 10.Janis Strelnieks scored 17 points and had six rebounds and eight assists to pace Latvia, which won the first title 80 years ago but whose best recent placing was eighth in 2001.Slovenia, which finished fifth at home two years ago, got 17 points from Zoran Dragic, who was the only player to score in double digits.Slovenia pulled within four points with 1:15 to play but Strelnieks then sank a jumper that sealed the victory. Mitja Nikolic made one of two free throws and Janis Timma made two for Latvia as Slovenia, which shot poorly from the field, ran out of time.Saturday’s losers will not have a chance to qualify for next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.last_img

Last Updated on: November 18th, 2019 at 6:59 am, by

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