Greece Shake Off Ukraine Scare

09 July 2010
Greek boss Konstantinos Missas is already looking ahead to the next phase of the tournament and that means his team topping Group A - an potential accomplishment something they took a major step towards after an 88-76 win against Ukraine.

Having cruised to success in their opener against Czech Republic, the clash with Ukraine was always going to provide a sterner test of their gold medal credentials according to Missas.

"I expected this game to be more difficult than the first game.Ukraine is a team that uses many different defences, and a team that gets offensive rebounds."

"In the first half, we let them get 7 offensive rebounds and they got back in the game. In the last five minutes of the third period we could not find solutions against their zone defence."

"However, we found solutions in the fourth quarter and we made some shots but the most important thing is we were able to run - something that is our game."

"We want to win tomorrow to be in first place - that is something also important to us. We are now waiting for the next phase. It will get more and more difficult because in my opinion group B is the best group of the tournament."

It was the perimeter shooting of Nikos Pappas and Kostas Papanikolaou which impressed most - the duo combined for 54 points including ten triples with the latter a perfect five of five from behind the arc.

After looking like they might get steamrollered for much of the game, Ukraine fought back and got to within four points at 70-66 when Denys Noskov drained a three-pointer but the Greeks eased away in the closing stages.

Maksym Sandul claimed 15 points and 10 rebounds for Ukraine while team-mate Kyryl Natyazhko just missed out on a double-double with 19 points and 9 boards.


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