Greece wins tournament in Germany

A clearly improved Greece won the tournament held in Bamberg, Germany scoring three wins in as many games over Turkey, Germany and Belgium, on August 19-21.

The players of coach Ilias Zouros showed a much more robust team with an ultra-tight defense and many ideas in attack that bodes well for the Eurobasket that starts on August 31 in Lithuania.

The most impressive showing was on Friday when Greece stifled the Turkish attack to win by 24 points, with a 62-38 score. Turkey was runner-up in the last World Championship, which it had hosted.

Greece conceded only two points in the last period and 13 in the whole of the second half, having Yiannis Bourousis as its top scorer with 17 points on the night.

Then on Saturday, the Greeks defeated host Germany 69-56 despite facing the team of NBA champion Dirk Nowitzki. Kosta Koufos, who going from strength to strength with Greece, played an impressive game that produced 17 points in 18 minutes.

Sunday offered a less impressive performance by Greece, but its game was enough to beat Belgium 70-61 and complete eight wins in nine friendly games this month, its only loss coming to Italy on August 14 at Rimini.

“We are on the right track, as long as we stick together as a team,» Zouros said meaningfully, having been forced to create a team with many national team first-timers due to the absence of most of the old clan that took Greece to third spot in the previous Eurobasket in 2009.

Greece fans will now be able to see for themselves how good or bad the team is as the Hellenic Basketball Federation is hosting its annual Acropolis tournament on August 23-25 at the Olympic Sports Hall in Athens.

Greece will face the Brigham Young University on Tuesday, before playing Bulgaria on Wednesday and Italy. Greece’s games start at 9.15 p.m. and tickets cost 10 euros.