The injection of the Panathinaikos players to the roster of the national team sent Greece flying in its second qualifying game for the World Cup, as it defeated Israel 82-61 at Iraklio on Monday.
Three days after its overtime win over Great Britain at Leicester, Greece was considerably strengthened with the likes of Nick Calathes, Ian Vougioukas and Thanassis Antetokounmpo.
The first half was fairly tight, with the Israeli team leading 18-15 after the first quarter, and the Greeks fighting back to advance 37-32 at half-time.
In the second half however the hosts were much more convincing and used their more experienced players (although Yiannis Bouroussis was absent this time) to stretch the difference to over 20 points in the end, while offering some spectacular plays.
Haris Yiannopoulos was Greece’s top scorer with 13 points, followed by Calathes and Dusan Sakota with 11 each.
Coach Thanassis Skourtopoulos said after his successful home debut that “it was all a matter of focus for the Greek players.”
The next fixtures for Greece, that is on two wins out of two, are on February 23 against Estonia and two days later against Great Britain, both at home.