SPORTS

Greece loses to Team USA but can Czech its ticket on Monday

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Greece needs to beat the Czech Republic by over 11 points on Monday to have any hope to the knockout stage of the FIBA World Cup after going down 88-75 to the USA on Saturday.

The 93-71 victory of the Czechs over Brazil earlier in the day means that, unless the Brazilians upset the US, Greece can advance to the last eight with a 12-point margin at least on Monday.

Against the US the Greek national team showed an improved defense but came up against a well-prepared side that at times left the Greek players without any attacking options. They therefore resorted to shots from a distance, with patchy results.

The Greek players were determined to give Team USA a good run for its money and try and snatch victory in the end. They led by three, up to 12-9, and responded to a partial 10-1 by the Americans with four points late in the first quarter, that ended 19-17.

Team USA restored order in the second quarter, leading 29-20, as Greece’s distance shooting let its coach down while the ball could hardly enter the paint. Therefore the Americans ended the first half 13 points up (38-25).

A few dunks by Giannis Antetokounmpo offered the Greek offense some respite, but the effective Americans left nothing to chance, ending the third quarter 17 points up (54-37).

After trailing by 19 (61-42), Greece reduced the distance in the last period by improving its offense, led by Giorgos Printezis, and ended the match with a respectable deficit of 16 points.

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