Greek hoopsters defeat Georgia and go top


Greece scored its 10th win in 11 World Cup qualification games downing Georgia 81-69 on Thursday and has returned to the top of its pool one game before the conclusion of qualifying.

The Greek team, which has long qualified to the final tournament that will take place this summer in China, was dominant throughout the game at Iraklio’s Dyo Aorakia court even without its Euroleague players.

Georgia, coached by Greek Ilias Zouros, pressured the hosts with a zone defense in the second half and cut the distance from 22 (55-33) to just five points (68-63), but the quality and depth of the team of Thanassis Skourtopoulos meant Greece would not be denied on the night.

Panayiotis Vassilopoulos topped the Greeks’ scorer chart with 15 points, with Lefteris Bochoridis scoring 13.

Greece will finish first its group unless it loses on Sunday in its last game of the qualifying pool in Germany by more than seven points.