Greece makes Euro 07 finals with easy win

Evina Maltsi scored 33 points, 21 of them with seven three-pointers (in nine tries) to lead Greece to an easy 81-55 away win against Bulgaria and near-certain qualification for next year’s European basketball championship. The Greek women’s team now plays Belarus away on Saturday. Belarus lost 54-47 to Hungary yesterday and Greece must win or lose by less than eight points to clinch first place. A heavier loss will leave Greece in second place and it will qualify directly as one of the four best second-place teams. The remaining teams will fight a further round of qualifiers for one place. The game was close in the first half, with Greece holding a 39-32 lead. Maltsi’s hot shooting in the third quarter helped Greece open up a 66-45 lead. Greece was missing Anastassia Kostaki, a player with the WNBA’s Houston Comets. «We played with great concentration and passion against a team that had nothing to lose,» said coach Costas Missas.