Greeks Pull Away For Second Win

By Yarone Arbel

Greece defeated Bosnia-Herzegovina 67-50 for their second win in three games to qualify for the elimination round as the second placed team from Group C.

Greece will take on Israel on Tuesday with the winners advancing to the quarter-final round, while Group C's third placed team France must travel to Novi Sad to face Serbia & Montenegro.

Slovenia are in the last eight as the winners of Group C.

For Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mensur Bajramovic's team suffered their third loss in the Championship.

Dimitrios Diamantidis (Greece)
Dimitrios Diamantidis dished 10 assists for Greece
They have not won a game in the preliminary round of EuroBasket since 1993.

After the big loss on Saturday to the Slovenians, Greece wanted to show Europe they are still strong medal contenders with a convincing win.

Bajramovic and Co made them work hard for three quarters before falling away over the final 10 minutes.

"Unfortunately we showed again we couldn't keep the rhythm the whole game, and fell in the last minutes," said Vedran Princ, a member of the losing side.

Just like in their first two games, Bosnia-Herzegovina ran out of energy in the last quarter.

Greece scored many easy points on fast breaks and offensive rebounds in the final 10 minutes.

"We had 20 assists and that shows a lot of desire and concentration," said coach Panagiotis Yannakis of Greece.

Ten of those assists came from Panathinaikos guard Dimitrios Diamantidis, a tournament individual high so far.

Bosnia-Herzegovina were on top at the end of the first quarter due largely to Jasmin Hukic, who had a perfect first half from behind the arc with three makes as his side led 16-15.

The Greek side relied on Konstantinos Tsartsaris, who poured in 12 first-half points and hauled down four rebounds, most of them in the second quarter, when his team took over the game and opened a 33-23 advantage.

Bosnia-Herzegovina struck with a pair of late three-pointers to close the half down trailing 33-29.

If Greece's fans suspected the game was already theirs, they were sadly mistaken as the Bosnians never give up.

The Blue and Yellow fought back and remained close during the entire third quarter.

Hukic's desperation shot at the buzzer missed but Greece held only a 43-41 lead with 10 minutes to go.

Hukic tied the game at the start of the fourth quarter, but his team never managed to move back in front.

Greece then got a spark from Nikos Zisis, who fired his team to a 9-0 run, and that was the beginning of the end for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Over the next eight minutes they added only three more points, and Theodoros Papaloukas caught fire to lead the Greeks as they blew the game wide open with a 19-point advantage to secure the triumph.

Antonios Fotsis had 15 points for Greece, Lazaros Papadopoulos finished with 10 and Diamantidis weighed in with five but in addition to his 10 assists also pulled down six rebounds.

Hukic had 13 points for the losing side while Kenan Bajramovic added 10.

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