Greece Hang On To Beat Lithuania

12 July 2010

Defending champions Greece survived a late scare from Lithuania in an intense but high quality battle in Crikvenica to seal a hard fought 75-70 success at the U20 European Championship Men 2010.

Coach Kostas Missas admitted after the game it had been the hardest game yet for the tournament favourites who looked to have been safe and out of sight at one point but almost blew a double digit lead in the closing stages.

In an entertaining game that you couldn't take your eyes off for a second, the first half in particular was high class with both teams taking it to each other at a furious pace in transition. At 41-41 going into the second half, both teams subsequently made adjustments and were a little more conservative in their approach but the quality level rarely diminished.

At 71-61 it had looked as if the superior depth and impressive defence of the Greek team had finally worn down a resilient Lithuania. However, seven straight points in a hurry made it a one shot game heading into the final two minutes.

It was still a one-shot game with 12 seconds left but Eimantas Bendzius missed a triple attempt from the corner and Greece sealed their latest win from the free-throw line to preserve their unbeaten status (watch their postgame reaction here).

Nikolaos Pappas claimed another 18 points for Greece to underline his firepower while fellow guard Konstantinos Sloukas had 14 points, 4 assists and 4 steals. Paulius Dambrauskas top scored for the losing team with 13 points.

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