Greece Win Overtime Thriller Against Hungary

31 July 2009

by Paul Nilsen

Greek coach Dimitris Bakogeorgos was arelieved man after his teams thrilling 58-50 overtime win against Hungary after his team made hard work of registering their first win in the tournament.

Having lost their opener against Russia, his team were poor early in the game against Hungary finding themselves trailing by as many as 14 points but tightened up here defence in the second half.

While that made a big difference, his team took their foot off the pedal when seemingly cruising to victory with an eight point lead with a couple of minutes to go. That gave Hungary the opportunity to force the extra period but Greece regained their composure to complete the victory and please their coach.

"We made many mistakes in the last minutes of regulation time and we let Hungary into the game and force overtime and this was very bad for me."

"In overtime we found our brains again and played excellent both inside and outside which made a difference."

"We now have one win and it is important that we move forward and pick up another win tomorrow to start getting some momentum in the tournament."

It had been Hungary that started strongly, scoring the first six points of the game to find themselves with a twelve point lead after a 10-0 run at 16-4. The prolific Brigitta Barta once again led the way, as she did against the Czech Republic in game one.

At 22-11 it as looking bleak for Greece, especially in the context of a tough loss to Russia the night before but they dug deep and managed to pull out a 10-0 run to help get within a point of Hungary by the end of the first period.

Much of the work having been done by Artemis Spanou who claimed 12 points in the period while a decision to look inside more and to get to the hoop made a big difference.

The third quarter was a very tight affair with neither team able to make a decisive run and this time it was Greece with their noses in front at 39-37.

Hungary struggled to find any real offensive threats outside of Barta and that meant that they went scoreless for five minutes in the last quarter while Greece scored six points during that time to go 37-45 in front.

It looked to be all over and maybe that was something in the mind of the Greek players since in a real twist, Hungary found the strength to finish the game strongly with an 10-2 run to force overtime at 47-47. Fanni Csuturas making the crucial three point shot with 8 seconds remaining.

Unfortunately for Hungary it only delayed their first loss and it was Greece who found their game again in overtime to over run their opponents.

The two outstanding players in the game were Artemis Spanou who claimed 19 points and 12 rebounds while Brigitta Barta racked up 20 points and 12 rebounds for Hungary.

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