Positive start at U20 European Championship
FIBA U20 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP - GROUP D (MD 1)
In Israel, the Greek national team made a positive start to the 2019 FIBA U20 European Championship, defeating Slovenia 90-79.
Placed in Group D alongside Lithuania, Poland and Slovenia, the Greeks started the competition with a victory against the latter which should give the team a psychological boost. After winning the opening quarter by 10 points, Greece gave the Slovenians a chance by losing the next two frames, but the team protected the advantage in the fourth and saw out the win.
Giorgos Kalaitzakis, a Greek champion with Panathinaikos, tallied an impressive 21 points. Dimitris Moraitis, who plays for AEK in the Basket League, grabbed 17 points and a large nine assists. Giorgos Kamperidis (14), Konstantinos Kampouridis (13) and Panagiotis Kalaitzakis (10) also reached double figures in terms of points.
Greece will next play on Sunday against Poland. Tip-off is scheduled for 20:30 Greek time.
The Greeks came flying out of the blocks, scoring 25 points in the first frame while only letting Slovenia gain 15. Ioannis Nikolaidis made sure the advantage was 10 points after nailing one of two free throws in the concluding seconds.
However, in the second quarter, Slovenia suddenly got back into proceedings. Having embarking on a 10-2 run, the Slovenians were suddenly back to within two points of their opponents after six minutes of the quarter, as Greece appeared to take their foot off the gas.
Slovenia continued pressing in the third frame. Nevertheless, after losing that particular period 20-22, the Greeks regrouped in the fourth and won it 24-20 to seal the victory.