The GOLDEN Neoi of Europe
FIBA EUROPE U20 CHAMPIONSHIPS - FINAL
|Greece U20||65 - 56||Israel U20|
The Ethniki Neon defeated Israel 65-56 in the final of the FIBA Europe U20 championships rising to the top of European basketball. MVP of the game was Haralampopoulos who finished with a double-double (10 points, 10 assists).
Despite a slow start which saw Israel take a 2-14 lead, Greece bounced back with a strong display in the second quarter to take a 26-23 lead into halftime.
The Ethniki’s strong asset, their defense, accompanied with great shooting from behind the arch from Koniaris and Haralampopoulos, gave Greece their first double digit lead of the game at 37-25 in the third quarter. However, a good run from Israel brought the “visitors” within 6 points (39-33) before a Greek time-out broke Israel’s momentum, and the Ethniki increased their lead back to double digits with a 4-0 run (43-33).
Israel would not go down without a fight and cut Greece’s lead to four points (45-41) late in the third quarter, before a big three pointer from Diplaros gave Greece a 48-41 lead goin into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Galanolefki began to take over the game as Israel seemed to have lost their touch on the court. Greece were solid on the defensive end and with big shots on the other end of the court, their lead increased to 16 points (59-43) with under 5 minutes to play.
Despite a few mistakes, Greece kept their composure and with time on their side, celebrated the FIBA Europe U20 title with a 65-56 win over Israel.
The MVP of the game was Haralampopoulos who finished with a double-double, 10 points and 10 assist, while Koniaris led Greece with 15 points. Lountzis also played a vital role in today’s win with his 12 points.
Today’s title is Greece third at the FIBA Europe U20 championships after claiming the cup in 2002 and 2009.