The World Championship came to a sudden and disappointing end for the Greek national team as after five wins in as many games in the group stage it got thrashed 90-72 by Serbia in the round of 16 in Madrid on Sunday.
The ghost of the national team lost easily to Serbia, with its defense wide open from the start, conceding 46 points in the first half (46-42), as the Serbs seemed to score at will.
Against a well-prepared Serb team, that had studied Greece’s game, the players of coach Fotis Katsikaris were nervous, error-prone and often disorientated in this first knockout round.
The Serbs put pressure on the Greeks and forced them to commit almost twice as many turnovers, as well as scoring with an excellent rate (9 out of 17 three-pointers).
Nick Calathes was Greece’s top scorer with 14 points. Giorgos Printezis and Nikos Zisis notched up 12 each.
“We are sorry, we did not rise to the occasion. We deserved something better as a team,” apologized Greece forward Costas Kaimakolgou after the game.
This uncharacteristically poor game by Greece is forcing it to an early return home, but despite the dashing of Greek hopes for an entry to the quarterfinals at least, this team showed that it can have a glorious future in the years to come.