Promise ahead of Eurobasket

The national men’s basketball team, making its final preparations for the defense of its European title at next month’s Eurobasket tournament in Spain, emerged undefeated from a four-team warmup tournament in Athens that concluded last night. Wins over Lithuania and Italy, on Monday and Tuesday respectively, were followed up by victory in Greece’s third and final game last night against Slovenia with an 80-65 score. Greece trailed 19-16 and 41-40 at the end of the game’s first two quarters. A strong third period put Greece ahead 65-54 at three-quarter time. The home team went further ahead in the final quarter for a 15-point victory. Greece coach Panayiotis Yiannakis said that his final 12-man squad for Eurobasket 2007 would be decided before an upcoming friendly against Italy. He reduced his squad from 15 players to 14 following last night’s game after excluding 24-year-old Olympiakos player Loukas Mavrokefalidis. Eurobasket 2007 is scheduled for September 3 to 16.