Strong Test For Greece, Croatia U20s

11.06.2013

U20 MEN

4. Eleftherios Bochoridis (Greece)
Eleftherios Bochoridis scored 13 points, as Greece prevailed over their age-peers from Croatia

The U20 national teams of Greece and Croatia had the chance to measure forces against senior opposition in a four-nation tournament that concluded on Monday night in Jesolo, Italy.

The two youth sides commenced their preparations for the U20 European Championship by competing against the reserve senior national teams of hosts Italy and Turkey, who are preparing for the Mediterranean Games later this month.

On the first day of the tournament, the two U20 teams faced each other and the Greeks prevailed 62-52.

Two players that were on the Greece side that took eleventh place at last summer's U18 European Championship, shooting guard Eleftherios Bochoridis and center Kostas Gontikas, paced the winners with 13 points each while point guard Giannoulis Larentzakis had 11 points.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, a 1994-born player who has turned heads around Europe in the last year as a 2.06m tall guard, also finished with 11 points.

Croatia forward Antonio Boban led all scorers with 15 points while Blaz Bozinovic had 14 and point guard Juraj Segaric added eight points in defeat.

Both opponents were missing players whose club season has not yet concluded and will join Greece and Croatia, respectively at a later stage.

In the other game on the first day, Italy defeated Turkey 68-57 behind 19 points from young guard Alessandro Gentile, while Melih Mahmutoglu had 14 points on 4-for-7 three-pointers in a losing effort.

On Sunday, Croatia sprung the big surprise as they led Italy from start to finish and finally won 66-64 as a desperation triple by Gentile did not drop in for the hosts.

Forward Stipe Krstanovic, a player who was instrumental in Croatia clinching promotion from Division B at the U20 European Championship last summer, led the winners with 13 points while Boban had 10 points and Luka Panduric added nine points.

In the other Sunday game, Turkey held off Greece for a 69-57 success, behind an excellent display by 23-year-old shooting guard Birkan Batuk, who finished with a game-high 18 points.

On the final day in Jesolo, Italy defeated the Greeks 82-64 despite a 17-point effort by Larentzakis to take first place in the tournament while Turkey finished in second thanks to a compelling 93-46 rout of the young Croatians.

Big man Oguz Savas had 21 points in that impressive showing for Turkey.

Greece were drawn in Group A at the U20 European Championship and will face off with Germany, Serbia, Lithuania and Georgia.

Croatia will take on Sweden, Ukraine, Turkey and Montenegro in Group B.

The U20 European Championship takes place from 9 to 21 July in the Estonian capital, Tallinn.


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