Greece Unstoppable Against Israel
FIBA WORLD CUP 1ST QUAL. ROUND GROUP H - MATCHDAY 2
|Greece||82 - 61||Israel|
|(15 - 18)
(37 - 32)
(59 - 47)
(82 - 61)
Greece continued their winning ways in FIBA World Cup qualifying after a comfortable 82-61 win over Israel on Monday in Heraklion.
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After a nail-biting overtime win against Great Britain on Friday, Greece looked to improve their record to 2-0. Despite losing the top scorer from Friday’s game in Giannis Bourousis, Panathinaikos players Nick Calathes, Ian Vougioukas, and Thanasis Antetokounmpo were available this time around.
Despite a mediocre start that saw Israel hold an 15-18 lead after the first quarter, Greece would eventually take control of the game. While trailing 22-25 midway through the second, Ioannis Athinaiou hit two consecutive three-pointers for Greece to take a 28-25 lead. After that, Greece never looked back and not only maintained, but expanded the lead for the rest of the game. By halftime, the Greeks led 37-32.
Six consecutive points from veteran Panagiotis Vasilopoulos to start the third quarter saw Greece jump ahead 43-32. Led by Vasilopoulos and Charis Giannopoulos, who scored eight points each in the third quarter, Greece went ahead 59-47. A strong fourth quarter from Dusan Sakota with eight points, and Thanasis Antetokounmpo with six, saw Greece cruise to an 82-61 victory in front of the home crowd.
Leading the way for Greece in scoring was no other than Giannopoulos with 13 points, followed by Calathes and Sakota, each with 11 points. Dimitris Mavroeidis was also in double digits, as he scored ten points.
Greece now sit in first place in Group H with an overall record of 2-0. Next up will be Estonia (1-1) at home on February 23, followed by a rematch with Great Britain (0-2) also at home, on February 25.