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.