With its collective mind set on the forthcoming knockout game against Belgium on Saturday, Greece struggled to beat the Netherlands 68-65 on Thursday in its last game for the group stage of the 2015 Eurobasket ending it with a perfect record in five games.
Coach Fotis Katsikaris gave plenty of playing time to players who had been on the bench for most of the first four games in the group, as no player featured for any more than 26 minutes on the night. Vassilis Spanoulis did not play at all…
Led by NBA star Yiannis Antetokounmpo, Greece covered its small deficit in the first half to end it 34-31 and lead by up to 11 points in the second half (61-50).
The Dutch needed the win to advance from the group and they cut the distance to two points, but their poor record in free throws and the experience and quality of Greece prevented them from completing their comeback.
Antetokounmpo enjoyed a double double as he scored 11 points and collected 11 rebounds.
If Greece beats Belgium on Saturday in Lille, France, it will face the winner of the tie between Spain and Poland in the all-important quarterfinal on Tuesday.