SPORTS

Olympic dream over for Greece after 97-72 loss to the Czechs

olympic-dream-over-for-greece-after-97-72-loss-to-the-czechs

Greece’s men’s basketball team failed to advance to the Tokyo Olympics Sunday, after a surprisingly easy 97-72 loss to the Czech Republic in Victoria, Canada.

As in Saturday’s game against Turkey, the Greek team started slowly, and found itself 32-22 behind at the end of the first quarter. It closed to within seven points (50-43) by halftime, but a disastrous third quarter saw the Czechs stretching their lead to 81-54.

Patrik Auda led the Czechs, who scored an impressive 76.5% in 2-pointers (26/34), with 20 points. George Papagiannis scored 14 for Greece.

The Czech Republic goes to the Olympic men’s basketball tournament for the first time. Greece last qualified in 2008, its third Olympic appearance.

Germany, Italy and Slovenia won their respective tournaments earlier Sunday to qualify for Tokyo.

All four qualifying tournament hosts (Canada, Croatia, Lithuania and Serbia) were eliminated.