The national basketball team once again fell to its jinx team, Spain, as its dream for a medal in the 2015 Eurobasket ended on Tuesday with the 73-71 loss in the tournament’s quarterfinals. Yet Greece can still qualify for the Olympic qualification tournament if it earns a top-seven position in the end.
NBA star Yiannis Antetokounmpo played his best game in the tournament to date and could have even snatched victory for Greece if his long-range shot in the last second had hit the target. It would have capped a last-ditch effort by Greece to overturn a Spanish advantage that during the game had reached up to nine points, but the Greeks kept coming back into the match and even led by up to four points (53-49).
Coach Fotis Katsikaris managed to contain the Spaniards’ attack by slowing down their game, and had Antetokounmpo as his secret weapon to upend them, but the rest of the Greek squad was unable to rise to the occasion in terms of shooting rates – even in free throws.
Nick Calathes scored 14 points, Giorgos Printezis notched up 13 and Antetokounmpo registered 12 points and 17 rebounds.
Greece still has something to play for though, as it will strive to snatch one of the top seven spots in the tournament, either by beating Latvia in its next game on Thursday or by winning in the match for the seventh spot on Friday.