Greek U18 basketball team wins Euro championship


The national Under-18 basketball team is the new European champion, after coming from behind to beat Turkey in Sunday’s final at Volos, central Greece, where the tournament took place.

With Vassilis Charalambopoulos, Giorgos Papagiannis and Dionysis Skoulidas as its biggest stars, the team of coach Ilias Papatheodorou made the most of home advantage and after downing France in the quarterfinals and Lithuania in the semis it defeated Turkey 64-61.

Turkey led for most of the game, by up to 14 points, but four minutes from the end Greece edged ahead 54-51 for the first time in the final.

The Greeks’ inexperience and enthusiasm saw them shoot one three-point shot after another, with only moderate success, although the Turks were also nervous in attack and could not translate possession into points.

This is another golden generation for Greek basketball, as the men’s team is eyeing a place on the podium in next month’s Eurobasket.