A depleted Greek national basketball team went down 84-61 in Serbia on Monday for its first loss in 10 World Cup qualification games.
Greece did not only miss the players belonging to Euroleague clubs, but it was also deprived of stars such as Yiannis Bourousis, Haris Giannopoulos etc. who usually featured in the previous matches. Still, Greece has long achieved qualification so the defeat in Belgrade was largely irrelevant for the national team.
The Serbs were superior from start to finish, and Greece only offered some glimpses of resistance during the match, reducing its deficit from time to time.
However the hosts were not to be denied and even when the Greeks brought the distance down from 19 points to 12 (72-60) three minutes from the end, the Serbs inflicted the final blow on the team of coach Thanassis Skourtopoulos to end the game with its maximum margin of 23 points.
Christos Saloustros and Lefteris Bochoridis were Greece’s top scorers with 12 points apiece.