Greece survived a furious second-half fightback by Israel on Tuesday night at the Pionirr Arena in Belgrade to win 67-61 and advance to a quarter-final showdown with Russia.
Panagiotis Yannakis' Greeks led by as many as 15 points in the second half but saw their lead dwindle to just three late in the fourth quarter before holding on for the triumph.
Greece and Israel will step on court on Tuesday in the Pionir arena in Belgrade to fight for a place in the quarter-finals of EuroBasket 2005. Greece finished in second in Group C with a 2-1 record, while Israel recorded an identical record, but finished in 3rd place in Group D.
The Greeks have won the last 7 games against Israel in official games, but that doesn't bother Israeli coach Zvika Sherf.
Israel showed no ill effects from a fourth quarter shooting slump against Serbia & Montenegro last night to take an important 85-77 win over Spain, thereby handing them their first loss of the tournament and joining them in a two-way tie atop of the group – for now.
Captain Tal Burstein led by example and finished as his team’s top scorer with 19 points. He was instrumental to Israel’s strong run that saw them open and regularly extend a lead in the second half.
Spain will aim to remain the only undefeated team in Group D on Sunday and secure an outright place in the quarter-finals when they take on Israel.
Juan Carlos Navarro and Jorge Garbajosa scored 35 and 31 points respectively in a 114-109 overtime win against Latvia last night.
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