|17 July 2004|
The Greeks missed the semi-finals by one point, while Russia's ambitions were hit in the head by Spain, but both teams arrived today with big plans to participate in the 5-6 game.
For 34 minutes the teams were breathing down each other’s neck, but a small run by Russia kept the Greeks behind this time. Nikita Shabalkin had an amazing first half with 12 points, only one miss from the field and already 10 rebounds, but Greece had the lead for the majority of the first two quarters, thanks to penetration from Igor Milosevic, who had 16 points in the first half which finished with a 3 point lead for Greece, 38-41.
The Nikitas - Kourbanov and Shabalkin were too much for the Greek’s front court and a big pressure on defense early in the 4th pushed Russia to an 8 point lead, 67-59, with 6 minutes to go. Greece, just like yesterday, didn’t give up and a three from Ntousan Sakota tied the game at 73-73 with 3:40 to go. But Greece was unable to take the lead into its hands, and Shabalkin, with a couple of free-throws, made it a 78-76 game for Russia with less than a minute to go. Greece failed to tie the game, and forgot to foul in time, and once they did, there was too little time for a comeback.