Greece must defeat Poland, Germany/Lithuania up next
Greece were handed their third defeat at this year’s Eurobasket and will play Poland in their final group match in what is a must win game if Greece are to advance to the next round. Germany/Lithuania will be up next in the knockout stages if the Ethniki advances.
Although Greece put together another disappointing display on Tuesday at the Eurobasket, in a 89-77 defeat to Finland, their third loss of the campaign could have some positive outcomes in the end. With the loss, Greece can only finish 4th in the group, grabbing the final spot for the knockout stages of the competition. However, for Greece to finish fourth, they must defeat Poland on Wednesday in the final group fixture. No exceptions.
If al goes well and Greece manage to defeat a theoretically weak Poland side, the Episimi Agapimeni will be paired with the first placed team from Group B, which will either be Germany or Lithuania. The two teams will face off in their final group match on Wednesday for first place in the group. Although both teams are strong sides, Greece will avoid a powerhouse team in the first round of the knockout stages and also in the quarterfinals (if they advance).
If Missas’ squad turns things around against Lithuania or Germany in the Round of 16 (if Greece defeats Poland), the Ethniki will be paired with Croatia or Russia/Turkey/Latvia in the quarter-finals, again avoiding powerhouse teams like Spain, Serbia, and France. This could pave the way to the semifinals and the medal matches, where anything can happen.
However, with Greece’s performances continuing to worsen as the tournament goes on, the Ethniki will have much to do to not only get out of the group stages, but to also advance far in the knockout rounds.