Group B: Turkey, Greece Remain Unbeaten

Despite once again displaying plenty of fight and determination Israel lost their second game of Group B in another fast-paced game against Turkey.

The 92-80 final score doesn’t really reflect how close this game actually was, as with just 2:48 remaining Turkey led by just three points, 81-78.

Anton Shoutvin (Israel)
Anton Shoutvin finished with 17 points for Israel.

But a strong Turkey side finally finished off a game they had threatened to run away with on several occasions when Birkan Batuk and Melih Mahmutoglu scored six and five points respectively in the final two minutes.

Israel started the game extremely brightly, showing lots of energy and an ability to convert their chances.

Turkey initially failed to cope with Israel’s numerous fast breaks, Sean Mcdonough Daniel standing out in particular with some great runs to the basket which he finished well, scoring 5/6 attempts inside the arc.

Yesterday’s stars Dogus Balbay and Can Özcan were the only ones keeping Turkey in the game in the first half, with Balbay displaying the great vision and drive to the basket that he showed yesterday against Bulgaria, and Özcan scoring well on three-point field goals.

It was this success from three point range which finally put Turkey in the driving seat in the third quarter, as Batuk and Mahmutoglu hit four consecutive three point shots between them to take the score from 51-50 in their favour to 63-52 with just under three minutes left in the quarter.

Israel just would not give up and clawed their way back to take the lead 71-70 with seven minutes left of the game, before Turkey finally took charge to take their second win of the Group.

Despite having similar problems to yesterday’s game against Bulgaria, Turkey coach Taner Günay believed his side was heading the right direction.

“We were more thoughtful than yesterday and we played better because of it”, he said.

He went on to predict a more controlled performance in his side’s next outing, adding that, “Our plan shows that we can expect to have less up-and-down games in terms of the

Konstantinos Koufos (Greece)
Konstantinos Koufos had 18 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
scores in our next matches”.

Turkey’s win means that they’re game tomorrow against Greece will decide the Group B leader.

Greece made light work of Bulgaria in a comfortable 94-64 victory, with Konstantinos Koufos impressing again with another double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Nikolaos Pappas was also in inspired form as he missed just two shots all game, hitting 5/5 two point shots, 2/2 free throws and 3/5 three point attempts.

Another good display from the Bulgarian pair of Bozhidar Avrimov and Hristo Zahariev, who both scored 19 points, wasn’t enough to stop the Greek’s from running away with the tie.

Bulgaria took the lead with the second shot of the game, a three-point attempt converted by Avramov.

Nevertheless it would be the last time the Bulgarians would lead as Greece took control from the first quarter.

Bulgaria will now play Israel tomorrow for the last place in the quarter final round. 

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