Greece to clash with France for top spot

The national basketball team is playing France today as part of the European Championship in Poland, aiming for a win that will give it the top spot in its group, ahead of the tournament’s knockout stages. Greece gave a lackluster performance on Sunday and suffered its first defeat in Poland, going down 68-65 to the Russians. The absence of NBA star Costas Koufos, due to injury, and tight zone defense by Russia forced Greece into many poor basket attempts, though the Greek defense did fairly well. This defeat came after four straight wins in Eurobasket play that have taken Greece to second on the table, but a win tonight (match starts at 7.15 p.m. Greek time) would secure first place for Greece, which means that in the quarterfinals it will face the team to finish fourth in the other group. «The match against France is not a final,» said experienced guard Vassilis Spanoulis. «It is just important to win for psychological reasons. I believe it is important to play [the quarterfinal] on Thursday,» he added.